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Legal time-bars see former “boss-of-all-this” banker free-to-fly

Possibly digesting the news that his summertime retreat is close to being demolished, former BES boss Ricardo Salgado won a breakthrough elsewhere this week when the last bail condition imposed upon him ‘lapsed’, as a result of judicial time bars.

This means that Salgado – cited in two financial probes and suspected of six crimes that lead to the multi-billion downfall of BES – is now free to fly almost anywhere in the world.

To recap, the former “boss-of-all-this” at BES faces prosecution for qualified fraud, falsification of documents, IT falsification, money-laundering, qualified fiscal fraud and corruption in the private sector.

He has posted bail of €3 million, which covers his implication in two major corruption probes: BES and Monte Branco, and he is a defendant in “at least three legal cases taken out by the Bank of Portugal”, writes Diário de Notícias.

In one of those cases, he has already been fined €4 million, but he has not had to pay up as the case is “in appeal”.

Meantime, there are at least another 200 people who “consider themselves victims of acts practised by directors” of BES who have presented other cases against him. DN adds that Salgado’s defence lawyers have refused to comment on “cases in Secrecy of Justice”.

Thus, two-and-half years since his family bank collapsed with epic consequences for private investors and the country as a whole – and after being subjected to months of house arrest and other conditions – Salgado now finds himself almost a free man.

He still has to report his whereabouts to police every five days; property remains ‘seized’ though still available for use, and he is once again able to contact fellow ‘arguidos’ (official defendants).

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