Sócrates’ “could be home for Christmas”, says lawyer

Sócrates’ “could be home for Christmas”, says lawyer

On the day national tabloid Correio da Manhã ran a front page story declaring Sócrates would remain in jail throughout Christmas, his unconventional lawyer José Araújo has told journalists that he will be lodging an appeal against preventive custody on Monday that “should be effective immediately”.
“I hope he will spend Christmas at home,” Araújo spoke to reporters outside Évora jail this morning.
Of the “famous appeal” to be presented before Lisbon’s appeal court on Monday afternoon, at 4pm, Araújo said: “It is time for Engº José Sócrates to defend himself publicly.
“He has been meticulously and persistently attacked in the press,” Araújo chose his words carefully. “It is time for him to defend himself. The objective of the defence is that he is freed immediately, because the sole fact that he will have been here 15 days is an abuse – an abuse that has to stop as soon as possible.”
Araújo continued, stressing the importance of “justice and liberty”.
“A country that is not in condition to respect liberty within the justice system is a disgrace,” he answered journalists who had actually asked him how Sócrates was faring.
Araújo, who has frequently shown himself to be unaccustomed to press grillings, added that the appeal had given him “some work” and that he was “very tired”.
“The work of the defence is not summed up by the appeal and soon other initiatives could bring another panorama,” he added, with a touch of enigma. Thus the latest episode in this bizarre case of imprisonment which CM maintains will still drag on to the New Year.
According to CMTV, the Public Prosecutor will be given 30 days to respond to Araújo’s appeal bid, and then after that the defence will have another 10 days to answer the Public Prosecutor.
This way, CM doubts Sócrates or either of the other two defendants in preventive custody as part of “Operation Marquês” will be celebrating Christmas at home on electronic bracelets.