Punch-up in Sócrates’ prison

Punch-up in Sócrates’ prison

An ambulance carrying an unnamed prisoner from Évora jail sped out into the path of camped-out journalists just before 1pm today leaving news teams wondering what had happened. Not only is the jail reserved for members of Portugal’s security services, it is the one housing the country’s most famous political prisoner: former Socialist prime minister José Sócrates.
The punch-up, described as an “exchange in aggressions between inmates”, resulted in a visit to the jail by the PSP, as well as the arrival and departure of the ambulance.
According to news sources, the ambulance drove to the casualty department of nearby Évora hospital.
There was even the intimation that the prisoner inside could have suffered a “sudden illness” – the term usually reserved for a heart attack or stroke.
This is just one of many news snippets that seem to be emerging by the hour on José Sócrates’ detention.
CMTV reporters have variously presented stories describing how Sócrates is now in an all-male wing, alongside a former GNR captain described as a serial killer.
Elsewhere there are stories that Sócrates has told Expresso newspaper that he feels “freer than ever” in jail.
“People only stop being free when they lose their dignity”, he said in a short statement. “I feel freer than ever.”
Meantime, the former Socialist leader has maintained his innocence and his intention to appeal against the decision to hold him in prison.
In the busy week in which he has been behind bars, Sócrates has had many visitors, including former Socialist President of the Republic Mário Soares who admitted seeing his old friend in jail had brought tears to his eyes.
Like Sócrates, Soares has condemned the decision to hold a former leader in jail, calling it an infamy and politically-motivated.