Sócrates rails as new revelations describe escape plan to Brazil

New revelations suggest Sócrates was planning to flee to Brazil

Refusing to be silent, jailed former prime minister José Sócrates is continuing with his criticisms through letters written to national newspapers as revelations come that he had “wiped clean” all incriminating evidence from his computers the day before he was detained in a dramatic police swoop on Lisbon airport.
It is also alleged that Sócrates was planning to flee Portuguese justice by taking a flight to Brazil scheduled for the day after he was sent to Évora jail.
These two new allegations, reported in this morning’s Correio da Manhã, join scores of others made since Sócrates was remanded in preventive custody 10 days ago.
But the truth is the former Socialist leader remains yet to be charged with anything.
Portugal’s tenet of “Secrecy of Justice” has been broken so many times it is hardly worth considering. But this may just be the lever Sócrates needs to get him out of jail.
For now, a writ of habeas corpus designed to spring him from his 12 square metre cell has failed. There is another in the pipeline that will be presented to a panel of judges within the next week, and meantime Sócrates’ lawyer claims he too is working on an appeal to release his client from the clutches of preventive custody.
But as all this goes on, Sócrates has vowed that prison will not succeed in shutting him up. And today’s diatribe sent to Diário de Notícias lashes out at all and sundry.
As the paper comments Sócrates “spares no one”. He condemns the cowardness of politicians – many of whom, it has to be remembered, have stuck their necks out to say they believe in his innocence; the collusion of “some journalists”, the cynicism of professors of Law and the disdain which “decent people have for all this”.
Quite what he means by “all this” is not immediately apparent, but Sócrates is hugely critical of his detention which he claims has been designed to stop him talking – which of course he is refusing to do.
Prison services interviewed over how Sócrates’ daily missives are leaking to the press – considering he is not allowed any form of internet access – are reported as saying letters are allowed to be sent by post.
CM points out they are far more likely to have been delivered through the stream of visitors that come and go – one even bringing with him a television set for the former PM to watch from the comfort of his cell.
But the thrust of CM’s stories today is the news that Sócrates cleaned all incriminating material from his computers before the authorities searched his luxury Lisbon home last Monday.
Police are also understood to have found a flight reservation for Brazil in Sócrates’ name, planned for Wednesday November 24.
Bearing in mind the two-term PM had three lawsuits against CM’s reports pending when he flew into police detention 10 days ago, bystanders can only wonder whether journalists at the paper are among those he is now accusing of being complicit in his current fate.
By NATASHA DONN