José Sócrates’ defence lawyers say that 80 pages are missing from the Operation Marquês file.
The former prime minister is being investigated for tax fraud and money laundering and his lawyers yesterday picked up what they expected to be the complete dossier of allegations against their client.
When inspecting the file, lawyer Pedro Delille found a gap in the case for the prosecution and has submitted a request to prosecutors that they provide reasons for the 80 page omission.
Sócrates was released from house arrest on 16th October, but is barred from leaving the country and contacting other suspects in the case but he can of course consult his lawyers who have started to prepare their client’s defence.
Lawyer João Araújo said that prosecutors had based the absence of the 80 pages on ‘secrecy’ as they had yet to complete the section involved despite ir being nearly one year since the former PM was arrested.
More concerningly, Araújo accused the Public Ministry of last night having passed the date by which it should have formalised charges against his client, or close the case.
"I'm in a difficult situation because the investigation period ran out yesterday at midnight” said Araújo who next is to insist on the lifting of all enforcement measures against his client.
As for what is contained in the remaining Operation Marquês files, the lawyer commented only that "I do not want to announce things in installments," but said he may express an opinion after reading the whole file.
Here the foreign power saying either "Portugal prosecutes S. or we will. In our courts with our evidence. And no you can't have our evidence because you will destroy it as you have done previously - so we cannot then use it."
So Portugal flounders round. Every stone they turn up in Operation Marques does not just show the usual suspects but scurrying away other heavyweights, the owner elite VIP's or politicians - who pay well to stay off the radar. So how long before we hear that the only charge that will stick is illegal house building? Convenient. No prison sentence. Just a fine. Paid curiously enough by his best footballer mate.
But what then will the foreign power do? Housebuilding in the back streets of Lisboa isn't of interest to them.