Oeiras Mayor’s Algarve house repossessed

THE MAYOR of Oeiras, Isaltino Morais, has had his holiday house in the Algarve repossessed by the Ministério Público, the public ministry.

The villa, in Altura in Castro Marim, was repossessed following an accusation that the house was built ‘for free’ by builder João Algarvio in exchange for allowing the extension of an apartment block in Oeiras. Algarvio, who bought the apartment block site in Oeiras for 100,000 euros, sold it for 500,000 euros four days after Isaltino approved the project.

Morais bought the plot of land in Altura, together with an unfinished house, right in front of a project that was under construction by João Algarvio.

The house in Altura is just one of the properties belonging to Isaltino Morais, which, according to the accusation, the mayor obtained for nothing in exchange for issuing a building licence (planning permission) on the apartment block in Oeiras.

A short time before João Algarvio’s request for planning permission on the Oeiras site, his company began to rebuild the Mayor’s holiday home.

The Ministério Público brought the case against Isaltino at the end of December 2005, accusing the mayor of passive corruption, laundering capital, and abuse of power. Algarvio has been accused of active corruption. The case cannot proceeded further until João Algarvio gives evidence in the investigation.