Sócrates sells Lisbon apartment to Golden Visa hopeful from Pakistan

Behind bars he may be, but former prime minister José Sócrates has ways of getting things done all the same. He has just managed to sell his Lisbon apartment – valued for tax purposes at €271,740 – for almost three times that amount. The deal was sealed by Sócrates’ flamboyant lawyer João Araújo, who has refused to comment on where his client will live if granted release from Évora jail.

Araújo – who faced disciplinary proceedings after telling a journalist to take a bath – has also refused to say whether the sale has cleared the €250,000 bank loan that his client organised also from jail earlier this year.

All that is known for certain is that the prestige apartment on Rua da Braamcamp has been sold to lawyers operating in Pakistan, one of which Muhammad Makhdoom Ali Khan is understood to be his country’s former attorney general and now in the process of requesting Golden Visa residency.

Breaking the story today, national tabloid Correio da Manhã claims Sócrates originally bought his apartment for “around €235,000”.

Only two months ago, stories abounded to the effect that the apartment had been “seized” due to a €5,863 debt that Sócrates had with the tax department.

CM explains this debt has since been cleared as a result of “significant” seizures of bank accounts in Switzerland, and thus the apartment was free to sell.

Currently facing charges of corruption, money-laundering and fiscal fraud – with an alleged €23 million in the eye of investigators – bystanders may query why Sócrates is being allowed to dispose of his assets at all.

A similar investigation into fraud and corruption on a massive scale has prevented former banker Ricardo Salgado, and many others thought to be involved in the BES banking scandal, from selling any of their property, particularly when it comes to bricks and mortar.

For now, investigators are saying nothing.

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