All eyes on 4pm today for possible release

Sócrates || All eyes on 4pm today for possible release

The “famous appeal” long-awaited and designed to free José Sócrates from Évora jail with “immediate effect” will be delivered to Lisbon’s Court of Appeal today.
Sócrates’ lawyer José Araújo is understood to have pinned the appeal on the basis that two “fundamental principles of justice” have been violated. The first, writes Diário de Notícias, is that the former prime minister should have been cited as a defendant before his phone conversations were tapped by DCIAP (the central department of penal investigation) – thus any evidence gathered as a result is null and void.
And the second is that imprisonment 10 months after the initiation of an investigation is “excessive”, and contravenes all time allowances.
Whether Araújo has valid legal arguments remains to be seen. Contacted yesterday (Sunday) by DN, the anachronistic lawyer remarked that he was “still working on the appeal”.
According to other news sources, Araújo’s bid will still need to be analysed by the Public Prosecutor, which has up to 30 days to make its comments. Thus the chances of Sócrates – or either of the other two defendants in the case – making it home for Christmas are limited.
Sócrates was taken into preventive custody over two weeks ago, on suspicion of fraud, money-laundering and corruption. What is unusual in this case is that such a high-profile former politician should be held so long without formal charges having been made.