Lawyers acting for former Prime Minister José Sócrates said that as of Sunday, September 4th, their client should have been able to contact the other defendants in Operation Marquês.
Joao Araujo and Pedro Delille argue that Sócrates is no longer subject to any coercive measure in the case that saw him detained for about 10 months in Évora prison.
The reason given is that the conditions imposed on Sócrates continue to run out of time, only to be extended by the presiding judge, and that last coercive measure that prevented Sócrates contacting other defendants and suspects has run its course.
José Sócrates was freed from jail on 16 October 2015 after almost ten months on remand in prison.
The Judicial Court in Lisbon said on his release that Sócrates and Carlos Santos Silva were prevented from contacting "directors, managers or other company employees in the legal sphere of Carlos Santos Silva, the group Vale do Lobo, Lena or Caixa Geral de Depósitos."
The case against Sócrates, who was arrested at Lisbon airport on 21 November 2014 on his return from Paris, has been ongoing ever since. He is being investigated for qualified tax fraud, corruption and money laundering yet no charges have been brought after nearly two years.
The latest deadline to complete the investigation is September 15th, 2016 with the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action setting this date as the last day for building a case against the defendants.
The former PM’s lawyers claim that the delay is because the public prosecutor has no evidence against their client.
Those not swayed by the fomer PM's explanations are hopeful that the reason for the delay is that the case is complex and the prosecution wants to ensure the charges, when formally issued, are as watertight as possible.