The multinational pharmaceutical company Octapharma has terminated its €12,000 pcm contract with former prime minister José Sócrates who is currently detained in Evora prison as a result of enquiries into money laundering, corruption and qualified tax fraud.
Octapharma said in a statement that "regarding the latest developments the conditions are not being met to maintain collaboration with José Sócrates."
The company, based in Lachen, Switzerland, stated that José Sócrates "joined the Advisory Board for Latin America in January 2013 justified by the knowledge that he had of that market."
"The working relationship between the Octapharma AG and José Sócrates has always been guided by strict compliance with the law and a clear and transparent contractual relationship," adds Octapharma which claimed that Sócrates’ functions "never involved any activity in Portugal or any relationship with the Portuguese branch," and expressed its willingness "to collaborate with the authorities, clarifying any matter which may arise..."
The multinational also stressed that Socrates, "enjoys, as any citizen, the presumption of innocence."
The former prime minister was arrested last Friday at Lisbon airport having travelled from Paris and was taken to the Central Department of Investigation and Prosecution (DCIAP), where he was told he was indicted in a money laundering, corruption and qualified tax fraud investigation.
Octapharma has a production facility in Mexico City and an office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The company turned over €1.2 billion worldwide in 2013, according to its published accounts and is an expert in plasma production.
Current research projects include treatments for Multiple Sclerosis and continued research into haemophilia. Its mission statement is ‘For the safe and optimal use of human protein.’
It is not clear what area of compatible expertise Sócrates brought to the Latin American operation but he will have developed business contacts in Brazil during his various roles in Portuguese politics.
Octapharma’s statement was at pains to stress that Sócrates had no involvement at all in the company’s operation in Portugal, which is where the media now is looking.