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Sócrates remains in custody

socratesFormer prime minister José Sócrates is to remain in custody, according to his lawyer João Araújo.

Journalists waited for the announcement on Monday evening while Judge Carlos Alexandre listened to the debate between prosecution and defence for three hours. The decision was communicated by Sócrates' lawyer at around 10pm.

Regarding the continued detention under the serious grounds of 'risk of meddling in the investigation,' Araújo said his intention was to appeal on behalf of his client and considered it "a profound injustice" that his client was being detained after his questioning had finished.

In addition to Sócrates, his friend and former director of the Lena group of construction companies Carlos Santos Silva, Sócrates driver Joao Perna and the lawyer Gonçalo Ferreira Trinidade are all being detained rather than being allowed home under house arrest with electronic tags.

The four have been held since last Friday night on suspicion of corruption, money laundering and tax fraud in a wide ranging investigation into the tax and income affairs of the former PM.

As the initial questioning is over, the prisoner should now be taken to Evora where the special jail specialises in holding police and security forces personnel who need 'special protection.'

The former leader of the Socialist Party, Mario Soares, has criticised "the media spectacle" and has accused the press and electronic media of "violating the secrecy of justice by revealing facts" that should "only be known when a judge makes his ruling."

This 'secrecy' system does not work in Portugal and has been used for decades by the establishment coveniently and quietly to shelve cases where 'important' people are involved.

The sieve-like 'secrecy' leading to comprehensive leaks of information in more recent cases is to be welcomed. Those in front of Parliamentary commissions of enquiry have their dirty washing hung out for all to see, those in court should fear the same public opinion if they have done wrong, not rely on a quiet slap on the wrist and 'meet for drinks later.'

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+1 #1 Desmond 2014-11-25 16:19
'meet for drinks later.'....

Interesting to hear Pinto Monteiro, the previous Prosecutor General on TV last night. An oily specimen who originally denied he was at a recent lunch with Socrates.

Then Monteiro had to admit they had lunched together but denied being at all close to Socrates.

And that, even though they had rarely met socially in the old days and yet his interference as Prosecutor General had saved Socrates being investigated on several occasions ...

during the lunch the pair never touched on 'legal matters'. Socrates had never asked and Monteiro had not offered any information about investigations into Socrates from Monteiro's days as PGR !

And we now learn that Socrates' 3 companions had already been pulled in by the DCIAP / PJ and that Socrates twice re-scheduled his flight. As though he suspected something had gone pear shaped?

But Mum had cooked his favourite pudding and he did not want to disappoint her .... so he took that fateful flight from Paris.

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