Magistrates fear government interference in corruption investigations

Magistrates fear an increase in cases of corruption if a new Statute for the Public Ministry is approved “with controversial government proposals” powered by PS Socialists.

This is the opinion of the president of the Syndicate of Public Ministry magistrates António Ventinhas, who has been vociferous on the implications in the press.

A government source claims Ventinhas is mistaken, and that the changes will relate only to civil cases, not criminal.

Says tabloid Correio da Manhã, Attorney General Lucília Gago has requested an urgent meeting with the government to clarify the situation.

According to Ventinhas, it hinges on the removal of ‘financial autonomy’ from various judicial departments, including DCIAP (the department of criminal investigation and penal action which oversees so many ‘anti-corruption purges’).

“The budgets for certain judicial inquiries could end up being conditioned by political power”, Ventinhas insists.

Later this month the syndicate will be holding a three day strike (June 26 to 28) to contest the issue, while elsewhere there is controversy over the decision to increase the salaries of judges to the point that they could end up earning more than the prime minister (click here).

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