Former prime minister José Sócrates continues to be outraged over developments in Operation Marquês, the three year corruption investigation due to consolidate charges ‘any day now’.
His latest fury centres on property seizures justified to “guarantee the payment” of €19.5 million which prosecutors believe he owes the State for unpaid taxes, with interest.
Says Sócrates, firstly, none of the properties belong to him, and second, the seizures are illegal.
“The seizures have no foundation or justification”, he told a press conference over the weekend in which he said he had “never anywhere in the world seen someone being notified of their property being seized via a newspaper”.
Since then, Sócrates’ has heard of yet another seizure: the “luxurious property” in Paris which was purchased by his friend and fellow ‘arguido’ Carlos Santos Silva but which prosecutors believe to be “the real property of José Sócrates”, reports Correio da Manhã.
Thus, in the space of a few days, five properties have been ‘seized’ by DCIAP (the central department of investigation and penal action) on the basis of a despatch from TIC, the central court of criminal instruction led by ‘superjudge’ Carlos Alexandre.
The properties in question include a ‘monte’ in the Alentejo, purportedly belonging to Sócrates’ ex-wife, and three apartments purchased by Carlos Santos Silva from Sócrates’ mother, says CM – the paper that has leaked endless stories about Marquês’ and Sócrates’ alleged ‘dirty dealings’.
According to the popular tabloid, the value of the ‘crimes’ against Sócrates tops €32 million – an amount Expresso claims the Public Ministry believes the former PM received over his years in power “as bribes”.
But Sócrates is having none of it, asking journalists rhetorically: “At what point of indignity is the Public Ministry going?”
Consistently outraged since his arrest and initial imprisonment back in 2014, Sócrates has told reporters that he will be responding to all the “sordid” methods used against him which, in his opinion, shame Portugal’s justice system
In the meantime, the country waits for Marquês to formalise the list of charges against the former Socialist leader and all the other ‘arguidos’, (a total of 19 people and six companies).