Portugal’s former Head of State insists that José Sócrates should be released and an apology issued.
Mário Soares wrote today that "José Sócrates is still in prison after almost six months without being charged and tried" and "should be released as soon as possible and with due apologies."
The former president remains one of Sócrates’ staunchest allies despite his friend having been held on charges of qualified tax fraud, corruption and money laundering since November last year.
"The judge Carlos Alexandre and the prosecutor Rosário Teixeira have tried to find a reason to charge him. They have not succeeded. This is why any sane person recognises that Sócrates must be released as soon as possible and with due apologies," according to Soares.
The prosecution still is gathering evidence with which to mount a successful prosecution and has not broken any laws by holding Sócrates for this length of time in preventative custody.
Since April, the head of Lena Group, José Baroque has been confined to house arrest and prosecutor Rosário Teixeira has claimed that Sócrates received or benefited from the sum of €17 million illegally obtained.
Sócrates says that it is not true that there exists any special relationship between him and Baroque and that he had met Baroque only "half a dozen times in my life."
The former prime minister still claims that he has been the victim of abuse by the authorities who have arrested and detained him without evidence.
Sócrates denies having committed any crime of corruption involving Lena Group.
"Who accuses without foundation offends and insults. Who holds someone in prison while investigating him not only denies him democratic justice, but gives him the awful suspicion that he is being held for reasons of political persecution," claims Sócrates.