Mário Soares demands Sócrates is released from Évora prison

prisoninteriorMário Soares has challenged Portugal’s president over the arrest and continued detention of former prime minister José Sócrates.

The former socialist Prime Minister and then President, Mário Soares has criticised the silence of the current President Cavaco Silva and challenges him to intervene "in the name of the Portuguese," forgetting perhaps that many Portuguese are delighted that Sócrates is in prison.

Soares also said that the judge in the Operation Marques inquiry into corruption, tax fraud and money laundering, Carlos Alexandre, should apologise to José Sócrates and free him.

In an article published in today’s Jornal de Notícias, Mário Soares considers it "unacceptable" and a "disgraceful" situation that José Sócrates finds himself in, adding rather rashly that “there is not a single item of proof against a man who has provided many services to Portugal.”

Soares says that there is no justice in Portugal and accuses the President, who should be responsible for Portugal, of saying nothing about the Sócrates case.

Cavaco Silva did mention the case last autumn saying that it would not damage the international image of Portugal but sensibly has kept quiet as there is an inquiry underway, and he may continue to do so while the case is current.

Silva also noted last November that Portugal’s democratic institutions seem to be working normally, in a broad hint as to his delight at the disgrace being suffered by the socialist Sócrates.

Mário Soares writes today of the "the futility of false accusations that were made against him (Sócrates)," and adds that Sócrates was "arrested without having any prior trial," stressing that Sócrates is a man who "has provided so many and such important services to the Portuguese, the Portuguese culture and to Portugal."

In Mario Soares’ valued opinion, José Sócrates was all for promoting national interests, while others only care about their own interests.

Since the arrest of José Sócrates,  Mário Soares has presented himself as a "friend and admirer" of the jailed former PM and has complained that Sócrates has been treated “like a crook” but that he has not even been to court and that when the case is judged, he will be acquitted.

José Sócrates has been in custody in  Évora prison since November 25th, 2014. The former prime minister is being held on suspicion of involvement in qualified tax fraud, money laundering and corruption covered by Operation Marques.

A former Secretary of State for Justice, João Correia, stated today that in his opinion it was legal and legitimate for Sócrates to be protesting his innocence and that he could be interviewed. As Sócrates must be assumed innocent until proved otherwise, his freedom of expression is guaranteed and the ban on interviewing the former PM is not legitimate.

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-2 #9 RobertB 2015-01-11 11:56
My question is whether Soares and Sócrates had, within their absolute mayorities, the power to change these rather abundant preventive prison time, or not. For there is the key to beeing legitimate their complaint, or not.

If they didnot have that power, then my friends, Portugal is more sick than we think.
-3 #8 RobertB 2015-01-11 11:55
In Portugal is said: They all steal, so hope they steal little.
About Sócrates, The PSD is in control of justice. This year there are general elections. Sócrates can be held in jail for one-and-a-half year before any accusation needs to be formulated. Many people have been the victim of this preventive punishment and they can be released any time, like happened with PS deputy Paulo Penedo, also before a general election, who was put in jail for over three months, not having been granted any compensation or apoligy. Mario Soares was referring to this and is the only voice in Portugal that deares to defy Justice. The others are too scared of arbitrary actions, like in the case of Soares.

In other countries the prosecution has to make its accusation within about 4 workdays, so that defence can start defending. In Portugal they need one and a half year for that, features that still remain from the times of the dark ages. They do not torture anymore, even though one might consider this torture as well.

That the povinho like Mr. João Coelho here (and probably a PSD) enjoy a hanging of a nobleman, is no special news.
-1 #7 Joao Coelho 2015-01-11 08:28
The other sickening part of this story is how Soares and many of his cohorts elevate Socrates to the stature of a Nelson Mandela, a George Washington, a mother Theresa. I have news to Mr Soares, your age is getting the best of you, Socrates does not register with the world. If he bothered to read the papers around the world, he would be hard to show where this man's name ever makes it into the news.
+2 #6 Joao Coelho 2015-01-11 08:23
Soares is a sickening sight. As a portuguese, i am glad that some of these crooks are in jail. And the president is doing the right thing. Soares apparently thinks the Portuguese are still a bunch of idiots who see nothing wrong with the picture of a man acquiring millions without any businesses experience or actual business.
+2 #5 Frank Mcc 2015-01-05 17:48
One wonders how many skeletons Soares doesn't want suddenly being let loose from HIS cupboard ...
+4 #4 Peter Booker 2015-01-05 10:59
It is strange that this man is in gaol without having been tried. But the legal establishment and the Ministry of Justice must have considered this point, and determined it they will not prejudice the case against Sócrates. I can well appreciate that if he were let out, he might rearrange some potential evidence against him.

The few Portuguese to whom I have spoken about this particular case are all highly delighted that he is in the jug.
+5 #3 Elsa 2015-01-05 10:06
An arguido - as Socrates is - cannot make public statements about his case.

The McCann's though were allowed to -though their spokesperson - as they were understandably, as in the UK, seeking 'witnesses' to the abduction.

Quite obviously the last thing Socrates wants is to flush out any witnesses ! These outbursts, with everyone knowing they should not be happening, are to warn any "hero" thinking of speaking out - not too.

Signalling to any wannabe heroes - 'Stay out of it. If I can so obviously get my comments out in the Portuguese TV and press with 'impunity from the law' ... what else can I (or my heavyweight mates) do to you with impunity ?'

So don't expect any Portuguese to step forward with any statement resembling ...

"I am a bank clerk and remember Socrates driver, as I now know him to be, dragging a trunk into my managers office. Me and a colleague then had to count the money. Took us ages. Then we were searched to check we hadn't nicked any"
+7 #2 Nigel Anteney-Hoare 2015-01-04 19:44
Soares is either drunk or senile and I favour the latter. How can he possibly know the weight of the prosecution case and comment on the guilt or innocence of Eng° Socrates? Possibly the ;-) only sensible comment he made was that there is no justice in Portugal.
+4 #1 RCK 2015-01-04 19:23
If guilty, I'd like to see a few more of the seemingly untouchable political elite locked away, preferably for good, and throw away the key. Perhaps this is the way forward and a warning that corruption & illegality in high places is not going to be tolerated. Tony Blair in the frame anyone?

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