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Taxman is after former PM José Sócrates

Members of socratesPortugal’s Socialist Party are adopting a high-risk strategy by stoutly defending the former party leader and Prime Minister José Sócrates against suspicions of tax fraud and money laundering.  

Mutterings of a ‘black campaign’ and ‘slander’ have reached the national press in a series of deliberate briefings, leaks and comments on social media.

José Sócrates at last is being questioned as part of investigations into the Monte Branco money laundering scheme. The possible involvement of the Francofile ex-PM in one of the largest organised tax evasion scams ever uncovered in Portugal has been met with outrage by Sócrates’s friends and political allies.

The vice-president of the Socialist party benches José Junqueiro has blogged that the attack on Sócrates is a shame and a thinly veiled attack on the Partido Socialista.

Two other socialist MPs close to Sócrates, Renato Sampaio and André Figueiredo, reckon the investigation is part of a "black campaign."

Allegations that José Sócrates  is indeed involved in the Monte Branco scam were published on Saturday and published in the Sunday mainstream press.

Last week the situation was unclear as the Attorney General's Office stated that Socrates "is not being investigated and has not been made a suspect (arguido) in the Monte Branco case."  This was followed up by a statement from the Central Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution saying the former PM is being investigated, but in a separate enquiry concering the €3 million purchase of a luxury Parisian pied-à-terre where Sócrates has been based since leaving office.

A crack team of tax inspectors, on the orders of the prosecutor Rosário Teixeira, are looking at where this money came from and who actually owns the Paris property as it may not be Sócrates.

Other suspects are Sócrates’ cousin José Paulo Bernardo who appeared in the Freeport case, and his friend Carlos Manuel dos Santos Silva who bought property for José Sócrates mother when she was affronted by a sizeable tax bill.
Socrates has been under surveillance for several months and of further interest to the tax authorities is the lack of clarity in his tax returns which have failed to list interest received from bank deposits since the 80s.

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+3 #3 Creature from Swamp 2014-08-10 18:23
Time and time again the name Sócrates is associated with slime and under table dealing .....

A couple of times I thought I migt have met him ... but maybe not. Whoever it was - slithered away from my handshake and embrace.

Difficult to see amongst this algae bloom !

And perhap he thought, like everyone else of his kind - that I was going for his wallet.
+2 #2 Charles Small 2014-08-10 11:16
There is no smoke without fire -Time and time again the name Sócrates is associated with slime and under table dealing -let us see if the Portuguese judiciary have the ball´s and the willingness to make a case.
+8 #1 Clarissa Thomas 2014-08-04 09:27
This just emphasises how trivially the Portuguese authorities have applied EU directions on everything - here taxation ... only recently have Financas even begun to tighten up !

The root problem though is moral fibre. Too often an honest Portuguese official can be diverted by a dishonest one. :sad:

A good example was the recent failure to integrate all the Portuguese security apparatus - Police, SEF, GNR etc - into one main database.

Making a goldmine for bent Portuguese coppers and, on a smaller scale - mirroring exactly why the UK and other advanced police forces in the northern EU do not want to open their criminal databases to dodgy EU coppers in less developed states.

Quite possibly therefore this crash was triggered by external forces like Europol or Interpol - that they objected to their sensitive intelligence material being widely sold around Portugal. Which it would be - to every municipal etc ...!

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