José Sócrates’ driver never went to Paris at the behest of his master and therefore never took any cash in bags to top up the former PM’s cash pile.
Sócrates’ increasingly talkative lawyer, João Araújo, said today in Évora that the former prime minister’s driver, João Perna, "never went to Paris” nor did he “take bags of money” to the French capital.
Araújo confessed himself to be deeply annoyed at the rumour that Perna was involved in ferrying cash to the French capital where Sócrates moved to after his lucrative stint as Portugal's prime minister and blamed such lies on the investigators involved in Operation Marquês.
Possibly digging himself deeper in his client's carefully constructed version of the truth, Araújo today was speaking to reporters outside the prison in Évora, insisiting that not only had the car normally driven by João Perna not been to Paris, but it had never even crossed into Spain.
João Araújo was giving his views on the day that the driver João Perna again was being questioned by the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP) in Lisbon.
Sócrates’s lawyer said that he will deliver a petition against the continued detention of his client, on Friday. This document was meant to be submitted on Monday but the action was delayed as Araújo claimed he needed to consult the former prime minister on some further details.
José Sócrates is remanded in custody in Évora prison on suspicion of corruption, money laundering and tax evasion in a case related to the alleged illegal concealment of assets and financial transactions worth several million euros.
In addition to Sócrates and his driver João Perna, the businessman and long term friend of the former premier, Carlos Santos Silva is held on related charges.