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Latest News

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Submarine bribery report - target date October 2nd

submarineThe '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.

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Comments  

0 #4 Benny 2014-09-21 12:30
1st our beloved PM , now our power hungry Vice PM - when will these investigation into so called "kick backs" ever stop.
Frankly I not sure they will ever start, or if they do they will leave a door open somewhere for them to slip thru.
But if they do to the full extent off the Law the PT Political Set up will collapse as the Domino Effect kicks in.
0 #3 Dennis. R 2014-09-21 07:58
Been mulling over this one for some time. Perhaps Enid is 'bang on the nail'.

The Germans paid over the bribes to get both the submarine contract and the necessary licences and permits for their contra-deal tourism projects.

They factored in that regional development grants would cover the costs of the contra-deal tourism projects. They also assumed that tourism projects are controlled from the centre, Lisbon - as it would have been in a more developed country.

But remember that, only bona fide payments, can be declared for these grants. Bribes are 'off-blance sheet' !

When the Germans realised that, for the tourism projects, they had bribed the 'wrong people' ie leaving out the local mayors and regional development, so could not progress anything without paying over even more bribes - the Germans 'crashed the deal'.

Note that the German judge has convicted his people - but not jailed them. Why ....?
0 #2 Enid 2014-09-20 08:50
the Germans bribed various parties to get the deal and had no intention of investing any money in Portugal ....

This is clearly muddled. But for an entirely different reason and WE HAVE ALL BEEN DELIBERATELY STEERED AWAY FROM IT ! Portugal has been abysmal - as it finally admits itself - at integrating other EU foreigners into its economy.

At any level. Most of us know it at SME level but one 70 million Finnish tourism was held up for 21 years ! Because presumably they would not bung ! Now cleared following bad publicity.

It is by far more likely that the Germans bunged money at the top people in Lisbon assuming this would clear all the licences and permissions at lower levels.

The German annoyance actually coming from the greediness of regional development and municipal Presidents who also wanted 'greasing'. And blocking developments until they got the grease.

As often said now - Think Burundi !! :P
+1 #1 Peter Booker 2014-09-20 08:38
As the Germans were convicted for giving bribes in this case, and the Portuguese were acquitted of receiving them, one has to ask which justice system has not worked. But we know that in Portugal, there is slow justice, which is also no justice.

A Portuguese friend said that the explicit reason for buying this useless hardware in the first place was that the submarines would be useful in the fight against organised drug smuggling.

Barroso and Portas must be heavily implicated in this scam.

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