Monday, 23 October 2017
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socratesVRSAThe charges have been listed by the Public Prosecutor as Operation Marquês winds up and the paperwork is collated to prosecute José Sócrates, Ricardo Salgado, Zeinal Bava, Henrique Granadeiro and Armando Vara among other luminaries of the Portuguese elite, all of whom face full exposure in court for their involvement in a corrupt alliance between business and politics.

After an investigation lasting nearly four years, the Public Prosecutor's Office today, October 11th, filed charges against 28 defendants, 9 of them companies, under Operation Marquês, marking 'the end of the beginning' of this complex case assembled by the Public Prosecutor's office with the invaluable help of the Tax Authority.

According to the indictment, former Prime Minister José Sócrates, had access to more than €24 million channelled into Swiss bank accounts made available to him by Joaquim Barroca and companies controlled by Carlos Santos Silva. According to the Public Prosecutor, these amounts originated from Silva’s LENA Group, from BES and from the Vale do Lobo company in the Algarve.

Sócrates is accused of three counts of passive corruption in political office, 16 money laundering offences, nine counts of felony and three crimes of qualified tax fraud, a total of 31 charges of which he claims to be innocent.

Ricardo Salgado, the disgraced banker and former head of Grupo Espírito Santo and BES, is charged with one count of active corruption of a political office holder, two crimes of active corruption, nine of money laundering, three of abuse of confidence, three of falsification of document and three of qualified tax fraud. In total he faces 21 charges in Operation Marquês and many others in the Monte Branco and BES investigations.

Zeinal Bava, the multi-millionaire former PT and Oi director, is accused of a crime of passive corruption, a crime of money laundering, of forgery of a document and of qualified tax fraud.

Henrique Granadeiro, also a former PT director, is accused of passive corruption, two crimes of money laundering, one of embezzlement, one of abuse of confidence and three crimes of qualified tax fraud.

PT and BES no longer exist, having inflicting billions of euros in losses on taxpayers and shareholders with their former directors accused of crimes in separate investigations.

Armando Vara, already infamous from the Face-Oculta case, is charged with passive corruption in political office, two money laundering offenses and two crimes of qualified tax fraud. Vara’s daughter, Bárbara, is accused of two crimes of money laundering.

José Paulo Pinto de Sousa, cousin of the former prime minister, is accused of two financial crimes. The former driver for José Sócrates, João Perna, is accused of a money laundering crime and of carrying a prohibited weapon. Sofia Fava, a former wife of Socrates, also was charged with money laundering and document forgery.

Four of those investigated have not been charged. João Abrantes Serra, Joaquim Paulo da Conceição and Paulo Lalanda e Castro were not indicted, nor was Rentlei - Automóveis e Turismo SA.

The mammoth task of assembling evidence finally is over with more than 4,000 pages of taxt, statements from 200 witnesses and details of 500 bank accounts.

Sócrates was arrested on November 21st, 2014 at Lisbon’s Portela airport as he returned from Paris where he had taken up the sybaritic lifestyle of a wealthy retiree while claiming he was 'on a course.'

The former PM always has protested his innocence of all charges against him, not that he has know full details until today, and spent 41 weeks in Évora jail to keep him from contacting others involved in a web of corruption that has reinforced the stereotype of Portuguese politicians as being more interested in self-service than public service and of businessmen keen to enrich themselves at the expense of other shareholders.

One of Sócrates' lawyers, João Araújo, said he would fight the charges contained in the indictment, “The 4,000 pages are part of a spectacle, they only serve to make believe that there is something, when there is nothing.”

The businessmen involved already have lost their reputations and may lose their wealth and freedom when the court finally is given a chance to decide who did what for whom. As for Sócrates, his defence team will be assessing the charges and deciding whether their client's claim of innocence is the best way forward.

 

A trial date has yet to be set.

The official notification, roughly translated, reads as follows:

Operation Marquês - Accusation

The Public Prosecutor of the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action filed an indictment against 28 defendants, 19 natural persons and 9 legal persons, under the so-called Operation Marquis.

Thus, they were charged:


LUIS MANUEL FERREIRA DA SILVA MARQUES, for the practice of crimes of passive corruption (1) and money laundering (1).

JOSÉ LUÍS RIBEIRO DOS SANTOS, for the practice of crimes of active corruption (1) and money laundering (1).
(1), active corruption (2) money laundering (9), breach of trust (3) forgery of documents (3) and qualified tax fraud ( 3).

ZEINAL ABEDIN MOHAMED BAVA, for the commission of crimes of passive corruption (1), money laundering (1), document forgery (1) and qualified tax fraud (2).

HENRIQUE MANUEL FUSCO GRANADEIRO, for the practice of crimes of passive corruption (1), money laundering (2), embezzlement (1), abuse of trust (1) and qualified tax fraud (3).

ARMANDO ANTÓNIO MARTINS VARA, for the practice of crimes of passive corruption of Political Position Holder (1), money laundering (2) and qualified tax fraud (2).

BÁRBARA CATARINA FIGUEIRA VARA, for the practice of money laundering crimes (2).

RUI MIGUEL DE OLIVEIRA HORTA E COSTA, for the practice of crimes of active corruption of holder of political office (1), money laundering (1) and qualified tax fraud (2).

JOSÉ DIOGO DA ROCHA VIEIRA GASPAR FERREIRA, for the practice of crimes of active corruption of holder of political office (1), money laundering (2) and qualified fiscal fraud (3).

JOSÉ PAULO BERNARDO PINTO DE SOUSA, for the practice of money laundering crimes (2).

HÉLDER JOSÉ BATAGLIA DOS SANTOS, for the practice of money laundering crimes (5), falsification of documents (2), abuse of trust (1) and qualified tax (2).

GONÇALO NUNO MENDES DA TRINDADE FERREIRA, for the practice of money laundering crimes (3) and forgery of documents (1).

INÊS MARIA CARRUSCA PONTES DO ROSÁRIO, for the crime of money laundering (1).

JOÃO PEDRO SOARES ANTUNES PERNA, for the practice of money laundering crimes (1) and possession of a prohibited weapon (1).

SOFIA MESQUITA CARVALHO FAVA, for the practice of money laundering crimes (1) and forgery of documents (1).

RUI MANUEL ANTUNES MÃO DE FERRO, for the practice of money laundering crimes (1) and forgery of documents (4).

LENA ENGENHARIA E CONSTRUÇÕES, SA, for the practice of crimes of active corruption (2) money laundering (3) and qualified tax fraud (2).

LENA ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION SGPS, for the practice of crimes of active corruption (2) and money laundering (1).

LENA SGPS, for the practice of crimes of active corruption (2) and money laundering (1).

XLM-SOCIEDADE DE ESTUDOS E PRJECTOS LDA, for the practice of money laundering offenses (3) and qualified tax fraud (2).

RMF-CONSULTING, MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTANCY STRATEGIC, Lda, for the practice of crime of money laundering (1)

XMI - MANAGEMENT & INVESTMENTS SA, for the practice of crimes of active corruption (1) and money laundering (1).

OCEANO CLUBE - EMPREENDIMENTOS TURÍSTICOS DO ALGARVE SA, for the practice of crimes of qualified tax fraud (3).

VALE DO LOBO RESORT TURÍSTICO DE LUXO SA, for the practice of crimes of qualified tax fraud (3).

PEPELAN - CONSULTORIA E GESTÃO SA, for the practice of crimes of qualified tax fraud (1) money laundering (1).

Commentary: the facts in the investigation took place between 2006 and 2015. According to the indictment, in summary, it was pointed out that defendants exercising public or equivalent functions, in order to obtain advantages, acted in violation of the functional duties, namely in relation to the following matters:

The performance of the defendant JOSÉ SÓCRATES, as prime minister and also after the termination of these functions, allowed the LENA Group to obtain commercial benefits. Defendant CARLOS SANTOS SILVA intervened as an intermediary of JOSÉ SÓCRATES in all contacts with that group.

In exchange for these benefits and on behalf of the LENA Group, the accused JOAQUIM BARROCA agreed to make payments, first to CARLOS SANTOS SILVA but were destined for JOSÉ SÓCRATES. On the other hand, JOAQUIM BARROCA also made available the use of bank accounts opened in its name in Switzerland to move funds that were destined to JOSÉ SÓCRATES.

In addition, CARLOS SANTOS SILVA, in view of receiving other amounts destined to JOSÉ SÓCRATES, has made companies owned by them to receive amounts from the LENA Group, based on alleged service contracts.

The funds accumulated in Switzerland also included payments determined by defendant RICARDO SALGADO, with the mobilization of amounts from offshore entities belonging to the Espírito Santo Group. These payments were related to the interventions of JOSÉ SÓCRATES, as first-minister, in favor of the strategy defined by RICARDO SALGADO for the Portugal Telecom group, of which BES was a shareholder.

To hide this, RICARDO SALGADO used the defendant HÉLDER BATAGLIA to circulate funds for foreign accounts controlled by the latter. All such payments were justified by fictitious contracts in which HÉLDER BATAGLIA was involved.

JOSÉ SÓCRATES, together with the accused ARMANDO VARA, at the date of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos, also received payments from the VALE DE LOBO group. These payments were determined by the administrators of this group company, with a view to facilitating the granting of financing by CGD.

From 2006 to 2009, LENA, Espírito Santo and VALE DE LOBO groups accumulated in Switzerland an amount of more than 24 million euros

This money was initially received in accounts controlled by the defendant JOSÉ PAULO DE SOUSA and later in accounts of CARLOS SANTOS SILVA (in this case, with prior passage through accounts of JOAQUIM BARROCA).

CARLOS SANTOS SILVA later transferred the money to Portugal, through a presumed adhesion to RERT II, ​​with a view to its subsequent placement in accounts that were titled but for uses in the interest of JOSÉ SÓCRATES.

Such use was, in particular, withdrawn and delivered in cash to JOSÉ SÓCRATES, which were effected with the intervention of CARLOS SANTOS SILVA but also of the defendants INÊS DO ROSÁRIO, JOÃO PERNA and GONÇALO FERREIRA.

These funds were also used to purchase real estate, works of art, travel payments, purchases of copies of JOSÉ SÓCRATES 'book and to make money available to people in the defendant's relations.

Also defendant SOFIA FAVA accepted to appear as buyer of a property designated "Monte das Margaridas", located in Montemor-o-Novo. The property was acquired with a bank financing guaranteed by CARLOS SANTOS SILVA, supported on funds brought from Switzerland.

In addition to the above payments for the benefit of JOSÉ SÓCRATES, RICARDO SALGADO also determined that payments were made to defendants ZEINAL BAVA and HENRIQUE GRANADEIRO. During this period, between 2006 and 2010, these defendants exercised functions in the management of Portugal Telecom, having accepted these payments to act in accordance with interests defined by RICARDO SALGADO for BES as PT's shareholder.

Still based in the Espírito Santo Group, and by determination of RICARDO SALGADO, already in 2010 and 2011, CARLOS SANTOS SILVA will have set up a scheme, together with JOAQUIM BARROCA and HÉLDER BATAGLIA, with a view to the allocation of a new amount in favor of JOSÉ SÓCRATES . This scheme involved the production of a promise to buy and sell a building in Angola. By breach of this agreement and consequent loss of the deposit, it was justified to transfer an amount to the accounts of the LENA group which was responsible for returning the same amount to CARLOS SANTOS SILVA or to its money to JOSÉ SOCRATES.

The Public Prosecutor of the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action delivered nine filing orders, namely against defendants João Abrantes Serra, Joaquim Paulo da Conceição and Paulo Lalanda e Castro. However, as far as the latter is concerned, a certificate was drawn up to investigate facts relating to companies which it controlled.
 
In total, the Public Ministry decided to extract 15 certificates, for further investigation in an autonomous proceeding.

In this investigation, the Public Prosecution Service was assisted by the Tax Authority.
 
Lisbon, October 11, 2017

__________

 

...and from Visão

http://images-cdn.impresa.pt/visao/2017-09-29-InfoSocrates.jpg/original/mw-960

Comments  

+2 #8 Simon Grove 2017-10-15 14:27
Quoting Denby:
Another case of white collar crime, do we have to read about it again. I would rather wait until the trial takes place and see how justice is dispensed.


You have the option not to read any article, others however should not be denied that opportunity just because you wish to bury your head in the sand.
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+2 #7 Ray Shepherd 2017-10-15 07:02
With corruption charges that involve stealing from the state/aka us, there is a really simple way to make it less attractive to steal.
Firstly they are sentenced to a period in gaol.
The clock starts ticking on their sentences only when they have repaid every last euro. Otherwise they will be there for a very long time - forever.
You just watch the money come flooding back
There would be no possibility of appeal.
Human rights ? Stuff them
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+4 #6 Simon Grove 2017-10-14 09:50
I for one think that we all owe this newspaper, it's editor and staff a a huge thank you for all their efforts in collating and explaining a very complicated web of corruption and deceit by numerous people in a relatively easily understood format so that even non-financially oriented readers can understand the level of fraud, tax evasion and deception that has taken place.
We can only hope that the Portuguese authorities follow up on all the work that has been done over the past 4 years and prosecute these people to the fullest extent of the law and instead of just jailing those found guilty ensure that their ill gotten gains are confiscated by the Portuguese state and used for the benefit of the people..
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+2 #5 TerryP 2017-10-13 20:17
Quoting Denby:
Another case of white collar crime, do we have to read about it again. I would rather wait until the trial takes place and see how justice is dispensed.

I think it is great that we can see what these people are accused of. Carry on Ed, without this case and others being reported, we would know nothing until sentencing many years from now. Portugal is changing and this is, according to the Portugal News, 'The Trial of the Century'
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-2 #4 Denby 2017-10-13 19:52
Another case of white collar crime, do we have to read about it again. I would rather wait until the trial takes place and see how justice is dispensed.
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0 #3 Dennis.P 2017-10-13 14:22
What does northern Europe hope to gain from this continued humiliation of Portugal? It is bad enough an advanced country like the UK's HMRC chasing up the bung claim that triggered the 2008 Freeport failed investigation - but how can all these heavyweight elite Portuguese walking free in a year or two show Portugal in a good light?
They were all doing what comes naturally in this culture and no-one prosecuting them thinks otherwise. Any 'White Man' behaviour soon gets you left out of the game. Over the next year or two we shall witness numerous Isaltino's - ridiculously insignificant legal quibbles - before discreet closure on the grounds of cost. A fudge fine levied and these people all soon back behind their desks. If they ever left them. Or re-elected so limiting further indignity. Or comfortably retired.
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+5 #2 Maximillian 2017-10-12 08:00
This money needs to come back and put into the state coffers. If money of all corruption cases would be returned, the country would look quite different. Nothing is ever reported about the recuperation of these millions....
Meanwhile our IRS bill this year still had the additional 'crisis' tax.
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+3 #1 Nogin the nog. 2017-10-11 20:18
Hmm.
It might of took 4 years to un pick. But following the money at the very least, leaves alot of questions..
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