José Sócrates’ lawyers at last can review the list of accusations levelled against their client as the game of legal cat and mouse ended after a three week battle to have the charges made available.
The former prime minister is central to Operation Marquês in which he soon will be formally accused of qualified tax fraud, money laundering and accepting bribes.
The Lisbon Court finally has rejected a request from the Public Ministry which claimed an earlier ruling that the prosecution case should be made available, was flawed and that the details should remain secret.
"For 22 days the defence team working for José Sócrates remained without access to the files of the investigation," said a spokesman for the former prime minister, adding that his lawyers João Araújo and Pedro Delille already are studying the prosecution files.
On 24 September, the Lisbon Court decided that the continuation of the ‘secrecy of justice’ in the operation was not justifiable and that José Socrates’ defence team should have access to all records of the investigation.
On 5 October, the prosecution claimed in the Court of Appeal of Lisbon that this judgement was not valid, alleging violation of the constitutional principle of secrecy. The documents have remained under lock and key until this latest ruling which releases them.
José Socrates was arrested on November 21, 2014 at Lisbon airport, was indicted and sent to Évora prison pending formal charges.
His detention ended when enforcement measures were changed to 'house arrest with police surveillance' on September 5th. Sócrates awaits formal charges and trial in a case which the nation expects will lift the lid on years of political corruption and bribery.
The documents will be handed over to the smooth one's lawyers on Mionday morning but how long will it be until details are drip fed to the press?