Archive photo, taken by Lusa, of time when Mário Ferreira purchased the Atlântida for a reported 'bargain basement price'

Former president of EMPORDEF describes “high corruption” in sale of Atlântida

João Pedro Martins, former president of EMPORDEF and leader of the liquidating committee for Viana do Castelo shipyards (ENVC), has appeared in court as a witness for the defence of former MEP Ana Gomes who is facing a defamation action over her comments that the sale of the Atlântida cruise ship had the ‘whiff of corruption’. Mr Martins told the court there was “high corruption” in the boat’s sale to the Douro Azul cruise shipping company. High corruption “that involved serving politicians, the ENVC administrative board, the sale’s jury, Banco Espírito Santo and the purchaser”. Ana Gomes herself has repeated to the court that she will not retract a word of what she has said in the past about Douro Azul’s boss, media mogul Mário Ferreira, being “a crook and a tax criminal”. The court also heard from Pedro Vaz, Mr Ferreira’s financial director at Douro Azul, who said Ms Gomes’ comments had caused ‘constraints on the activity and reputation of the Douro Azul universe’.