The 'Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the Acquisition of Military Equipment,' the one focusing on the purchase of two submarines and the bribes involved in the contract, has proposed a day trip to the Alfeite naval base to visit one of the submarines.
The Commission also has announced a date by which its report will be ready for publication, 2 October 2014, and the parliamentary debate on its finding is scheduled for 8 October.
Social Democrat Monica Ferro, who is getting the report into shape, still awaits the transcript of several testimonies from an estimated 50 hearings held in Parliament as well as the written testimonies of former prime ministers José Manuel Durão Barroso and Antonio Guterres, among other documents she has asked for.
The purchase of the two submarines from a German consortium should have been in accordance with the relevant procurement laws back in 1993 when Cavaco Silva was prime minister.
The final purchase decision came in September 2003, when the Government, led by PM Barroso and Paulo Portas as Defence Minister, opted for the German submarine proposal instead a French offer.
The German offer was sweetened by a contra deal of €1 billion to be invested in Portugal by the Gerrmans. In fact the Germans bribed various parties to get the deal and had no intention of investing any money in Portugal, and got rather annoyed when later they were asked to do so as this was not part of an unwritten agreement with members of the Portuguese government, military and civil service who, it is alleged with a high degree of probablity, took cash bribes.
The deal has triggered two lawsuits. The first was focused on the contra deal, which went to court in Portugal but no one was convicted in a surprising judgement.
The second related to the dark world of buying military equipment which is still under investigation by prosecutors, helped by a parallel case in Germany which found directors of the consortium member Ferrostaal guilty of bribery. They were given fines and suspended sentences for corruption.
As the Portuguese case was kicked out of court on the flimsiest of pretexts a parliamentary committee of enquiry was set up to call to parliament for questioning all of those involved in the massive scam. Other deals that are being investigated at the same time are for armoured cars, torpedoes and military aircraft.