MEP Ana Gomes is convinced there are "extremely serious facts" that have been unearthed that relate to Portugal’s purchase of two submarines from the Germans and is to attack on two fronts, the courts and parliament, to try and get deputy PM Paulo Portas to answer questions on his involvement in the sordid affair.
Portas is clearly rattled and called Ana Gomes a ‘compulsive liar’ in an rude, ungentlemanly and unprecedented outburst, adding that he will 'come when called' to any parliamentary committee of enquiry.
Socialist MEP Ana Gomes is not giving up despite the archiving of the legal case which half-heartedly sought to prove that corrupt backhanders were paid to many of those involved in the billion euro purchase of two submarines from a German consortium.
Despite the vast amount of data collected by prosecutors in the original submarine case there were few coherent accusations, but now Gomes claims to have found "extremely important facts" that make a case for "timely, useful and legally permissible further research."
Included in the mountain of research and evidence from the original case are some transcripts of phone tapped conversations held by Paulo Portas who was Minister for Defence at the time of the purchases and hence in charge of selecting the German consortium which already ahs been convicted of bribing other customers during similar purchases.
Gomes is on the case and in a statement to the press said "It is inconsistent with the course of the investigation that one of the key players in this business and the main decision-maker has never formally been considered a suspect in the crime of passive corruption and/or misconduct and that this hypothesis was never really taken up and investigated." She refers of course to the current Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas.
The dogged MEP sensibly has taken the ‘follow the money’ route and said that the original prosecutors tried to follow the €30 million trail transferred to Escom, but finally gave up on €8 million of the amount which was untraceable.
The bank in Bermuda through which the funds had flowed, was asked to account for the transfers in and out and said it had replied to this request in June 2013.
This response had ‘disappeared’ by the time it was needed as key evidence in court. Nobody yet has successfully obtained a copy.
Ana Gomes’ research into these financial transactions showed that the payments to intermediary Escom actually started in 2004 and ending only in 2008. These details are in the records from the judicial investigation but were never examined in court as only €30 million was thought to have been transferred via Escom.
"There are explanations that have to be given" by the current deputy prime minister, according to the parliamentary committee chairman José Magalhães - Paulo Portas, has to "explain what happened."
Ana Gomes is "compulsive liar" according to Paulo Portas. We will see.