José Guilherme, the man who gave Ricardo Salgado €14 million out of the goodness of his heart after some informal investment advice, now is formally being investigated by Portugal’s prosecutors.
José Guilherme 'did not feel well enough' to travel to Lisbon from Angola to appear in front of the parliamentary committee looking in to the BES collapse, but was spotted in Lisbon having a haircut just days later.
This alone could see Guilherme prosecuted for taking the Mickey, or ‘disobedience’ as it formally is called in Portuguese legal circles, but what we want to hear is the truth about the €14 million.
The Attorney General's Office confirmed today that an investigation has been started.
Fernando Negrão, president of the commission looking at BES, asked the prosecutor whether the refusal by José Guilherme to be heard in parliament was 'disobedience.'
Negrão and his colleagues were keen to interview the businessman and to discover more details surrounding the €14 ‘gift’ made personally to Ricardo Salgado who at the time still was involved in running BES into the ground.
Fernando Negrão reckons that 'cooperation for the discovery of truth is an obligation of all citizens' and the Attorney General’s Office agrees and the public would like to know how the head of a bank can trouser €14 million from a customer and not treat him with extreme favour when he or a family member asks for a loan.
José Guilherme did manage to send a letter from his sick bed in answer to some of the committee's questions but of course failed to answer any that he did not want to, including the question about the €14 million which is looking increasingly suspicious.
Guilherme gave two reasons for not answering the €14 million question, he ‘could not violate the secrecy of justice’ because Salgado was being investigated, and he ‘did not want to incriminate himself.’