The game continues as lawyers acting for former Prime Minister José Sócrates were this morning denied their copy of the evidence against him.
Claiming ‘technical difficulties,’ the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action claimed that its workers were still scanning the documents and could not hand over the disc.
João Araújo, one of Sócrates' lawyers, was at the department in Lisbon bright and early to pick up the disc containing the Operation Marquês files, to be told he would have to come back later.
Araújo said he was told there were technical difficulties in scanning the files and could he please come back after lunch.
The lawyer said he respected that there may be ‘technical difficulties’ in scanning so many documents but added that the department had had plenty of warning as the cat and mouse game to get hold of the files had been going on long enough for someone to have realised that he would legally be permitted to obtain a copy at some point. The department's staff could have started earlier than last week when final permission was granted on Thursday.
"And if we want to be a little more demanding, the documents should have been scanned on September 24," the date when the state prosecutor was notified of the decision at the Lisbon Court that the files could be released.
"This is not a technical problem, it is a legal problem," argued the lawyer who first was allowed the files in April but was blocked by prosecution objections.
José Sócrates was arrested on November 21 2014, at Lisbon airport and indicted for the crimes of qualified tax fraud, money laundering and accepting bribes.
In a case that should go to the very heart of Portugal’s political modus operandi, Sócrates’ defence team claim their client is innocent of all charges, whatever they might be.
The disc was picked up this afternoon and the legal team is analysing is contents.