former deputy mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia
In less troubled times, former deputy mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia

Operation Babel: deputy mayor on remand quits job

Resignation “not the assumption of any responsibility or feeling of guilt”

Patrocíno Azevedo, the now former deputy mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia, has finally resigned from office, as well as from the presidency of the local PS Socialist council, held as he is under house arrest in Operation Babel – an investigation into suspicions of high level corruption regarding property development in the municipality.

He said in a letter seen by Lusa today: “Following the events related to Operation Babel, which led to my preventive detention, I hereby publicly announce that this morning I submitted my resignation as councillor of the executive of the Vila Nova de Gaia Municipal Council, as well as president of the Political Commission of the Socialist Party of Vila Nova de Gaia”, stressing the lack of ‘assumption of responsibility.

“It is rather the awareness that the accusations against me, although false, harm municipal governance and the political project of which I was part. At this moment, I reaffirm, once again, my innocence”, he said.

Azevedo has been in preventive detention as part of Operation Babel for the best part of a month.

Says Lusa, “this main process of Operation Babel focuses on “the vitiation of rules and instruction of urban licensing processes in favour of developers associated with projects of high density and magnitude, being at stake real estate interests in the order of €300 million, by offering and accepting pecuniary counterparts”.

One of the main defendants, businessman Elad Dror, has been allowed home on bail of €1 million, is prohibited from travelling abroad, but has also professed his innocence, in an earlier statement.

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