Porto Jewish Community files complaint with European Public Prosecutor’s Office

Porto Jewish Community files complaint with European Public Prosecutor’s Office

Claims false accusations have undermined nationality law to ensure ‘there are no more Patrick Drahis’ in Portugal

In a furious 131-page document citing “relevant figures in (the Portuguese) government”, parliament and the media, Porto’s embattled Jewish Community has presented a complaint to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), entitled “The First Great Antisemitic Conspiracy of the 21st Century”.

The community is fighting against the stigma of Operation Open Door – an investigation into the alleged use of the 2015 nationality law designed to ‘welcome back’ Portuguese Sephardic Jews persecuted during the Inquisition.

The law has potentially been ‘corrupted’ to allow various high-wealth individuals access to European nationality when they do not qualify for it. At least, this has been the inference of endless stories in the press since the start of the year.

Operation Open Door began with allegations over the speed – and lack of convincing proof – behind the Portuguese citizenship awarded to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Since then all manner of ‘big names’ have come to the fore – including that of Altice telecoms boss Patrick Drahi (Altice being the parent company of Portuguese telecoms giant MEO) – while decisions have been approved to ‘tighten’ the criteria for awarding Portuguese nationality to purported Sephardic Jews.

According to the Porto community, a new stipulation which came into force on September 1 “has made it impossible for candidates to meet the law’s requirements”.

Descendants must now show certificates proving inherited real estate in Portugal, something which is “logically impossible” because Sephardic Jews had their assets confiscated centuries ago.

More to the point, Porto Jewish Community suggests the whole furore has been set up to mask a campaign to remove Patrick Drahi from his leadership of MEO and replace him with “a non-Jewish fund” of ‘eminent Portuguese’…

This is where the complaint veers into such extraordinary territory that the World Jewish Congress has intervened.

A locked article in Israel’s Haaretz online newspaper says the Congress accuses Porto Jewish Community of “espousing spurious conspiracy theories”.

In a post over social media, the Congress writes: “Antisemitism is too serious a matter to be trivialized and used without foundation. Espousing spurious conspiracy theories falls in this category and must be categorically rejected as a tactic”.

Thus the brouhaha over this 131-page complaint has been put into context.

How the European Prosecutor’s Office decides to deal is unlikely to have any bearing on the Public Prosecutor’s case here. 

Aside from naming various political figures, the complaint also attacks PJ judicial police, accusing them of ‘nighttime robberies on law offices and private homes’; of ‘invading’ the home of the community’s vice president Isabel Ferreira Lopes (who had to ‘run to the bathroom’), and of denying the rabbi arrested for his part in the alleged corruption of the 2015 law of access to kosher food…

Suffice it to say, the Jewish News Syndicate accepts that while the European Prosecutor cannot look into claims of anti-Semitism, “it can investigate fraud and corruption when EU money is involved”. 

“The Porto Jewish Community hopes the EPPO will probe for possible financial impropriety”, the online concludes, which ironically is an integral part of the brief of Operation Open Door.

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