The German justice system is closing ranks to keep the dirty details of its submarine trial and verdict from Portuguese scrutiny.
In 2011 two directors of submarine consortium partner Ferrostaal were convicted for their illegal bevahiour during the sale of submarines to Greece and Portugal, the pair had bribed officials to make the sales happen.
Now the German court is refusing to send full details of the trial to the Portuguese authorities despite a parliamentary commission in Lisbon investigating the arms deals and needing the German documentation.
On July 9th an official request was sent to Germany by members of Portugal's parliamentary committee of inquiry into the purchase of military equipment which has been set up by the Attorney General's Office and is in session currently.
In response to a rogatory letter, copies of the indictment and details of the sentences for bribery in the submarine case were sent by the German court to the German prosecutor, but the rules of international judicial cooperation do not allow documents obtained to be used outside the scope of the original investigation. The Presecutor is sitting on the evidence in a very unhelpful move.
The Portuguese committee has no choice but to go to Angela Merkel to have the documents released.
For those wondering what the documents contain…
...deatils of the indictments and sentences of the former Ferrostaal managers, Johann-Friedrich Haun and Hans-Dieter Mühlenbeck, listing their fines and deatils of the court transcripts.
The section the Portuguese especially want to see covers the payment of bribes to Jürgen Adolff the former Honorary Consul of Portugal in Munich who was convicted in March 2014 and sentenced to a two year suspended sentence.
Johann-Friedrich Haun had approached Jürgen Adolff and offered him a ‘consulting’ contract with a view to buying his support in influencing the Portuguese Government to buy German submarines, not French ones. This he did, although Paulo Portas the Defence Minister denied at first ever having talked to Adolff.
Should Portugal buy German submarines, which it did, Adolff would receive 0.3% of the value of the €880 million contract for the two submarines, i.e. Adolff’s cut would be an astounding €26.4 million.
"Upon completion of the consulting agreement, Dr. Adolff continued to work Ferrostaal AG in contradiction with his official duties as Honorary Consul of Portugal, with the knowledge and the encouragement of Müllenbeck," reads the judgment from the Third Criminal Court of the District Court of Munich, which we are not allowed to see.
What the parliamentary enquiry in Lisbon is trying to establish is who else was on the take in a government run by Barroso, and a Defence Minister Paulo Portas.
The list of suspects is a long one and the German documentation may well throw up names and places. We know for instance that in the German trial, allegations that a Portuguese Admiral received €1 million were made, and there will be plenty more such pieces on crucial information as the committee of enquiry pieces together who was paying who in this arms deal that represented no value for money at all for the Portuguese taxpayer.