Altice HQ in Lisbon

Altice corruption probe: prosecutors “call for €10 million bail”

If ordered, bail surety for Armando Pereira will be highest ever in Portugal

With defendants still being held in preventive custody today, reports claim that public prosecutors will be asking for €10 million as a bail surety on which to release Altice co-founder Armando Pereira.

A source connected to the case has told Lusa that if prosecutors get their way, principal defendant Hernani Vaz Antunes won’t be released at all.

The perceived ‘right hand man’ of Armando Pereira, investigators want him held in preventive custody as he faces around 20 separate accusations.

According to information coming out this afternoon, prosecutors will seeking house arrest for 71-year-old Pereira. But they are prepared to waive this in favour of him lodging €10 million bail – the highest bail surety yet requested in Portugal.

As Lusa recaps, “the case concerns the Altice group’s decision-making bias in procurement, with practices that harm the group’s own companies and the competition” and which points to offences of private corruption in active and passive form, tax fraud and money laundering.

“Investigators suspect that the State has been defrauded of more than €100 million in tax terms”, Lusa adds.

But even as these details are put out for circulation, it is unlikely that any decisions will be announced today (see update below).

In Armando Pereira’s case, even if the billionaire is allowed home without being confined to house arrest, he will be prohibited from contacting any of his fellow defendants, Altice group personnel and/ or companies with which the telecoms giant does business, says the news agency.

Previously, the highest bail requested was €6 million. This was asked of former minister of economy Manuel Pinho, who insisted that he didn’t have €6 million, and was therefore confined to house arrest.

A few months later, the same bail surety was requested for former BES Angola banker Álvaro Sobrinho, who appears to have been in a position to lodge the full amount.

UPDATE: Late last night it became clear that both ‘main defendants’ in this convoluted case will be allowed home, to house arrest, without electronic tags/ police monitoring. The other two defendants, Hernâni Vaz Antunes daughter and economist Álvaro Loureiro, will be similarly bailed on large sureties (half a million euros, for Jéssica Antunes, €250,000 for Loureiro), and obliged to report to local police periodically.

For Armando Pereira house arrest involves a mansion set in 15-hectares with a private golf course/ pool and heliport.

Both Armando Pereira and Vaz Antunes have to surrender their passports in lieu of their conditioned freedom.

[email protected]