Carlos Alexandre is the judge known for tough decisions when it comes to corruption probes

Public prosecutors ‘seize valuables’ in three homes belonging to former economy minister

Manuel Pinho – under house arrest since just before Christmas click here – saw the corruption investigation against him rise another notch today when public prosecutors arrived at his various properties (in Albufeira, Porto and Braga) to ‘seize valuables’.

The provisory seizure under the auspices of the long-standing EDP corruption probe went ahead in a style similar to the recent ‘seizure’ of assets at the mansion home of former BPP banker João Rendeiro – meaning that, for the time being at least, all valuables identified are remaining in situ.

The next step will be for prosecutors to weigh up whether this can continue under a ‘trustee’ (as happened, with fairly disastrous consequences, in the case of Mr Rendeiro click here), or whether they will be removed by a specialised company to go into storage.

Today’s developments, once again authorised by Judge Carlos Alexandre, follows the ‘freezing’ earlier this month of Mr Pinho’s pension (click here).

The EDP/ CMEC probe has been running for so long now that many people will have forgotten what it is about. Click here for some of the background.

Also cited in the probe as ‘arguidos’ (official suspects) are REN director João Conceição, former secretary of state for energy Artur Trindade and former BES president Ricardo Salgado.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com