The Lisbon Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by José Sócrates to have Judge Carlos Alexandre removed from the Operation Marquês case.
The former prime minister is accused of three counts of passive corruption, 16 of money laundering, nine of forgery of documents and three counts of tax fraud.
The reasoning in Sócrates’ legal application to have Alexandre taken off the case was dismissed as "extemporaneous" and "without legal basis."
Pedro Delille, one of Sócrates’ defence lawyers, is to appeal this rejection by the Court of Appeal.
According to Delille, questions had been raised about the conduct of Judge Alexandre before charges finally were issued, citing procedural rules which seemed not to have been followed.
Operation Marquis is the big one in which 28 defendants have been accused - 18 individuals and nine companies - and details nearly two hundred financial crimes.
The indictment against Sócrates (pictured) is that he received some €34 million between 2006 and 2015, in exchange for favoring the interests of Ricardo Salgado in deals involving Grupo Espírito Santo and Portugal Telecom, for ensuring loans were given by state-owned Caixa Geral de Depósitos to the Vale do Lobo company in the Algarve, and that he favoured Lena Group companies in public contracts.
In addition to the former prime minister, businessman Carlos Santos Silva, a long-time friend of the former prime minister, the former president of Grupo Espírito Santo, Ricardo Salgado, former directors of PT, Henrique Granadeiro and Zeinal Bava, and the former minister and former head of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Armando Vara are accused in possibly the biggest and most complex case of financial fraud and corruption that has ever been presented.
The prosecution also is pursuing a civil claim in favour of the State for €58 million, to be paid by the various characters accused.