With the March 17th deadline looming for formal charges in the Operation Marquês corruption and money laundering case, the former Prime Minister, José Sócrates has stuck to his claim, "I never received anyone's money."
The former socialist PM says he is a victim of "malicious and defamatory campaign."
Sócrates said today that he will respond to all the questions put to him by the Public Prosecutor's Office, and says the campaign against him has been played out through stories in the newspapers that have contained no facts.
The former politician is particularly irked by Correio da Manhã which today claimed he had received €29 million from Grupo Espírito Santo’s former emperor, Ricardo Salgado.
Added to this, is the newspaper’s allegation that Sócrates received 'under the counter' payments of €2.8 million from the Lena construction group and a paltry million from the Vale do Lobo resort.
The questioning of Sócrates today focused on the latest evidence relating to Portugal Telecom and the transfer of millions euros from the Espírito Santo Group to the businessman Carlos Santos Silva, with Sócrates telling reporters that the only dealings he had with PT were "entirely legitimate."
The former Prime Minister is being questioned today for the third time by the Public Prosecutor's Office which is racing against the clock to get its evidence neatly ordered before Friday’s deadline.
Operation Marquês has 25 defendants - 19 individuals and six companies, four of them from the Lena Group. Those making the grade from arguido (suspect) to defendant will hear on March 20th.