Former Socialist prime minister José Sócrates – accused of 31 separate crimes of corruption involving the alleged accumulation of tens of millions in backhanders – is suing the Portuguese State for €50,000.
Lawyers Pedro de Lille and João Araújo argue the money is due as a result of the “poor functioning of the administration of justice”.
The case – dubbed Marquês – facing Mr Sócrates was ‘years in investigation without the Public Ministry making a final decision’, says Sábado, reminding readers that when Sócrates’ filed his claim for damages he had still not been accused of any of the crimes now stacked up against him.
The action dates back to February 2017, when Sócrates claimed delays in bringing Marquês to a conclusion were causing him “enormous damages”.
Stressed his lawyers: “It’s well known that José Sócrates is a figure of enormous public prominence, a politician of renowned calibre, who exercised among other relevant public functions the office of Prime Minister of the Portuguese government”.
The lengthy comings and goings of Marquês had ‘deprived’ Mr Sócrates of the right to “legal peace” as he was the subject of “constant public disclosure of his name and image” associated with “especially dishonourable and very serious” crimes.
Says Sábado, former Attorney General Joana Marques Vidal took the complex arguments presented “very seriously”, nominating her deputy Maria Ramalho Galego to “secure the State’s defence”.
Now, more than three years down the line, the case is due to be heard ‘sometime in April’. No firm date has been given, says Sábado.
Meantime, the instruction phase of Marquês is drawing to a close, at which point Judge Ivo Rosa will have to decide whether or not there really is a case to answer.
As so many pundits have suggested in the past, Marquês is so ‘huge’ that there is a distinct possibility that it will drag on for decades (click here).
Throughout his ordeal, José Sócrates has claimed his innocence.