In his first statement since his arrest and subsequent detention, former Portuguse prime minister José Sócrates has said that he has been deliberately humiliated and that the allegations against him are absurd.
"I have no doubt that this case also has political overtones," reads a letter issued via his lawyer, João Araújo.
Yesterday’s visit to Evora jail by former president of the Republic, Mario Soares, ended with some choice quotes including claims that the arrest and detention of his fellow socialist was a political act.
Sócrates letter also attempts to distance his current situation from the socialist party which he admits is in danger of becoming tainted by the allegations of his criminal activity.
In the statement, Sócrates is not pleased with the justice system or the press, "my detention for questioning was an abuse and the spectacle mounted around it an infamy; the charges directed against me are absurd, unjust and unfounded; the decision to put me in custody is unjustified and was just for humiliation."
Sócrates promises to act to defend himself and to deny the lies that abound, blaming those who have been publicising recent events, (the press,) of violating judicial secrecy.
The Economy Minister, António Pires de Lima, today apparently quite sober, would not be drawn into the debate on Sócrates’ detention, considering that recent events should not be used as a weapon in the political fight.
While admitting that he ‘had his differences’ with the former PM, Pires de Lima today resisted kicking a man when he is down, rising with a superior air above the grubby debate and by doing so making it quite clear that he is delighted the way things have turned out.
Asked about the recent spate of damaging scandals that has rocked the coalition, Pires de Lima said that this is not a problem unique to Portugal and as developed democracies work towards justice, these things happen.
He was asked by cheeky hacks to comment on the current corruption probes into Golden Visas, the arrest of Socrates, and the BES case but remained aloof, allying himself to his imaginary group of senior figures that have a clear conscience and are working to raise Portugal from decades of systemic corruption.