Luis Horta e Costa, director of BES subsidiary Escom implicated in the submarine payments scandal, was in front of the parliamentary committee today.
As one of the main players in the handling of 'success fees' paid by the German submaine consortium, Horta e Costa today said that he was fed up with those people who said they know nothing about the events and transactions surrounding the deal.
Horta e Costa admitted that the transactions related to the fees were deliberately complicated and deliberately were obscured to throw the taxman off the scent, "We wanted to hamper access to this information and wait for an opportunity to regularise taxes when there were better conditions."
Horta e Costa explained that the €27 million paid in 2004 was for services rendered and that nobody holding political office received money from Escom. This leaves open question of civil servants in the procurement process receiving money.
As for the payment sent to the high council of Grupo Espírito Santo (GES), Horta e Costa said that "we did not give €5 million to Dr Ricardo Salgado; it was distributed to companies as per instructions from the GES high council."
The head of Escom was pushed as to the rationale for payment of a portion to the GES high council, Horta e Costa said, "at the time it seemed perfectly normal; they were the owners of Escom; if it was today we might not do the same," adding that the world was a different place in 2004.
On the current situation of Escom, Horta e Costa made it clear that, in his opinion, GES continues to hold control of the company which is going through a very difficult situation with many liquidity difficulties.
The management is now trying to find new investors for the business.