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Évora prison, former SEF Director released as Sócrates is admitted

prisonJust as José Sócrates is admitted to Évora prison, the director of the Foreigners and Border Service, Manuel Jarmela Palos has been released from the same prison to await trial under house arrest and must wear an electronic bracelet.

A source from the Ministry of Justice said today that Maria Antónia Anes, former Secretary-general of the Ministry of Justice, and businessman Jaime Gomes soon will be released to home arrest where they too will be monitored by electronic bracelets.

The three were arrested in connection with the Golden Visa corruption investigation and are suspected of colluding with António Figueiredo, the then President of the Institute of Registries and Notaries, to fast track Golden Visas in exchange for cash payments.

Figueiredo and the businessman Zhu Xiaodong are now the only accused still in jail awaiting final charges.

Sócrates could in theory stay in Évora jail until March 2018 if the judiciary decides that he remains a flight risk or could meddle with the investigation into his financial dealings.

The Criminal Procedure Code provides for a maximum period of 40 months in prison in cases of exceptional complexity.

The former PM is accused of corruption, qualified tax evasion and money laundering. This 40 months could be extended by a further six months if the Constitutional Court agrees.

Normally the period spent in jail is four months in these types of cases, if the judge decides that jail is demanded by the alleged crimes rather than home arrest. Sócrates must be formally charged within a year but could stay in jail until his trial date, yet to be determined.

An opposite view from a judicial source is that "In cases of corruption, fraud and money laundering there has to have been strong evidence before arrest a suspect. There is no reason, therefore, that he spends so much time on remand because they already have collected much of the documentary evidence needed."

Every three months Sócrates’ continued detention in prison will be reassessed. If the judge considers that there is no danger of Sócrates fleeing the country or messing with the investigation, he may be sent home with or without an electronic bracelet.

This happens especially when the suspect has been cooperating with the investigators.

Whatever the term to be spent before being charged and sent to trial, the humiliation of the former Prime Minister is almost total.

As for the political fall out, the new general secretary of the Socialist Party António Costa said yesterday that the arrest of Sócrates "does not penalise or affect the firm convictions of the Socialist Party" and advised all fellow socialists to separate their feelings from their of political activities.

"We have to trust in justice," said António Costa, adding that justice must work independently.

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+2 #4 AnaP 2014-11-26 15:32
[quote name="Karel"]
"today's youngsters only copy or imitate their parents or their ancestors"
Yes indeed, it's shameless (right in your face) and they say "THEY all do it".
I hope we're witnessing a huge turn around point. Keep hopes up! :)
+4 #3 Karel 2014-11-26 10:12
By the way: the Chinese produce very good quality electronic bracelets at very low prices ! If you buy them by 40Ft container they even give fantastic discounts.

Some will say "evil is in their genes" whilst other will argue "that is typical Southern culture or attitude"... meaning: today's youngsters only copy or imitate their parents or their ancestors. And yes it will be terribly difficult "to clean" such a porchery... because the pigs will not/never understand why something has to be cleaned. That is also the reason why the Portugese think the TROIKA was ruining Portugal: indeed "the others all always the bad guys" aren't they ?
+4 #2 Malcolm.H 2014-11-26 08:57
probably quite a few people who have sleepless nights... do they ?

Can those of us from a different culture presuppose that all these bad guys knew that what they were doing was WRONG but happily got on with it because everyone else around them was also doing equally bad things.

That there was no anchor of 'good behaviour in the interests of society' and knowing that they would all look after each other ... the definition of a failed bandit state ? We await Socrates defence being exactly that.

As the good book tells us "Let he who has not done evil throw the first stone."

Where in Portugal can you find someone high enough up the food chain who is accurate and both honest enough to do the job and who also has no proven financial advantage in throwing stones at people ?

Such as an undisclosed family member or connection who owns a quarry and offers these 'throwable' type of stones at a very reasonable price .... and better still sem IVA.
+5 #1 Ana P 2014-11-25 20:58
Electronic bracelets....... booming business! :)
There are probably quite a few people who have sleepless nights.

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