Sócrates gets new address as clock ticks towards likely release date

José Sócrates is about to celebrate his 58th birthday behind bars – but if the nation’s news media is to be believed, the clock is ticking towards a September 9 release date.

This is the day the Public Ministry is due to decide whether to renew Sócrates detention in preventive custody, or whether to release him to house arrest to await formal charges over much-discussed suspicions of fraud and corruption on a vast scale.

As revealed at the beginning of summer, prosecutors were willing to see the former Socialist leader released to house arrest in June.

Their only stipulation was that he should wear an electronic bracelet – which he flatly refused.

Then last month when lawyers acting for Sócrates managed to sell his luxury Lisbon apartment, news sources wondered “where will he go if released to house arrest”?

Sócrates had apparently decided against giving the address of his former wife, or of his mother.

Today, national tabloid Correio da Manhã has the answer, claiming Sócrates “has rented a house”, though it gave no details as to where it might be.

CM claims Sócrates has “a maximum ceiling” of €2000 to pay in rent, and even suggests there is a possibility he could be released from nine-months in jail without any conditions at all.

“Theoretically, this kind of hypothesis cannot be excluded”, said the paper. But it is unlikely, it adds, as co-defendant Carlos Santos Silva has just had his status reviewed, and he, like fellow defendant and former Socialist minister Armando Vara, remains under house arrest on electronic bling.

[email protected]