Sócrates’ luxurious house arrest in building still registered as “warehouse”

No sooner was he ensconced under house-arrest in Lisbon than Portugal’s media has been looking behind-the-scenes at the unexplained luxury of Sócrates’ new address.

Described still as a “barracão” (shed) at the property registrar’s office (Conservatório predial), the “modest façade” of Rua Abade Faria 33 connects to what national tabloid Correio da Manhã describes as a “flashy villa” with three bedrooms and an indoor swimming pool, encircled by gardens.

From the street outside, no one could be the wiser. It is only via aerial shots that the full extent of the luxury of Sócrates’ new home can be seen.

Not content with pointing all this out, CM has been digging at the local records office to discover that changes to the building – bought by Sócrates’ ex-wife in 2008 with a loan from Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the bank implicated in the public ministry’s criminal investigations – have never been registered, “as is required by law” says the paper.

Thus the second defendant under house arrest in this long-running Operation Marquês has been found to be living in what is technically “hidden luxury”.

In July, Leiria council was reported to be “on the case” of unregistered changes to the millionaire home of Lena boss Joaquim Barroca (click here), one of the alleged “surrogates” in the case who is believed to have channelled financial kickbacks to accounts used by Sócrates.

According to CM, as of yesterday (Monday), Sócrates’ former wife Sofia Fava had failed to update the registrar’s office of the changes to Rua Abade Faria, 33, and she was “refusing to make any statements”.

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