Espírito Santo investigations: deadline extended by another three months
Years since the collapse of the Espírito Santo financial empire, public ministry investigators have still failed to conclude investigations into allegations of systemic corruption.
The Attorney General’s office has thus extended the deadline for the inquiry’s conclusion by another three months.
Meantime, principal suspect Ricardo Salgado, former boss of BES bank, has been quizzed in court regarding the so-called Marqués corruption investigation, denying that he has ever corrupted anyone.
Salgado stands accused of 21 crimes, among them corruption and money-laundering. He is on a three million euro bail bond covering simultaneous investigations but continues to live in apparent luxury in his family home in Cascais, with newspapers this week highlighting an idyllic holiday home in the Swiss resort of Gstaad.
Explain reports, the reason for the delay in concluding Espírito Santo group investigations centres on a lack of response, up till now, to letters rogatory sent by Portugal to authorities in Switzerland.
But beyond this, the case in itself has “become a monster”, said journalist Henrique Machado on TVI. It could drag on for another 15 years at least, he said, without any condemnations which have to come before ‘victims’ of the BES collapse, for example, can be fully compensated.
Wishing Ricardo Salgado a life of many years, Machado said it looks extremely unlikely that he will ever spend a day in jail if guilty, as for this to happen, Salgado might have to live to be 100…