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Submarine case - suspended sentences demanded

Submarine caseThe lawyer in the long running German submarine saga has asked for the Portuguese defendants to receive a suspended sentence of less than five years on charges of fraud and forgery.

In the closing arguments of the trial, Vitor Pinto justified the request for a suspended sentence on the fact that the Portuguese defendants in the case had no previous criminal records and that as the German defendants had profited to a greater degree their sentences should be harsher than any given out in Portugal.

 Pinto also asked for a joint fine of €104,000 from the ten accused, three Germans and seven Portuguese.

The German part of the case was settled in court in late 2011, with the German company’s former executives Johann-Friedrich Haun and Hans-Peter Muehlenbeck sentenced to paying fines and receving suspended jail sentences of two years.

Portugal bought two overpriced submarines in 2004 when Barroso was prime minister and Paulo Portas was the Minister of National Defence. Money was shelled out by the German sellers in inducements to overpay.

The German Submarine Consortium (GSC) also had to spend €600 million on projects in Portugal as a contra deal which they failed to do. When this inactivity was pointed out, a new new compensation agreement was signed by the then Minister of Economy Álvaro Santos Pereira, who has long since gone.

The first project under the new compensation agreement, the complete €150 million refurbishment of the Alfamar Hotel, was launched with great acclaim but later was quietly abandoned on cost grounds. No other project has yet been announced and the country awaits with interest the €600 million investment.

According to the prosecution, the fraudsters profited to the tune of €30 million.

A small fine and a suspended sentence for a €30 million scam may raise eyebrows as prosecutor Vitor Pinto does seem to be aiming at the bottom end of the scale.

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Comments  

+2 #1 Mark H 2013-11-07 21:20
Yet another reminder of how Paulo Portas has contributed to the wellbeing of his country! :lol:
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