10 January 2009

Freeport Case: Sol reacts to AG’s communiqué

by: Felícia Cabrita


The Attorney General’s Office states in a communiqué that it doesn’t suspect any minister in the Freeport case, but doesn’t comment on the suspicions from the English authorities. This statement appears following Sol’s breaking news, which revealed that an English investigation into the licensing process of the Alcochete outlet collected indicia of corruption of a minister of António Guterres’ government.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) clarified in a communiqué today that, until this moment, on the Portuguese side, there is no indicia of the involvement of any Portuguese minister, neither from the present nor from any former government, in possible corruption crimes that are related to the so-called Freeport case.

This reaction from the AGO appears following the news that was published by weekly newspaper Sol today, according to which “a socialist minister from the government of António Guterres is a target of the judicial authorities in the United Kingdom, within the criminal investigation that is being carried out in that country, concerning the licensing process of Freeport in Alcochete”.

The unusual communiqué from the AGO fails to contest the news or the contents of the English investigation, which has “a top Portuguese minister” as its main suspect, addressing only the indicia that was collected by the justice in Portugal, which is not the target of Sol’s investigation.

The AGO says that the note was emitted because it fears eventual “social repercussions” that may be prompted by the “suspicions” that are raised by Sol’s article.

According to the AGO’s communiqué, “the process does not contain, until now, any juridically relevant indicia that shows the involvement of any minister of the present Portuguese government or of former governments in eventual crimes of corruption or of any other kind” within this case.

The AGO recalls that the process is held by the Central Department for Penal Action and Investigation and that the investigations await the fulfilment of a rogatory letter that was sent to England in 2005, stressing that a meeting with the competent English authorities to “ensure greater cooperation” between both parties has already taken place.

Nevertheless, the “cooperation has not been carried out in its full form until now, because the rogatory letter that was sent in 2005 has not been completely carried out yet, and no rogatory letter from the English authorities has officially been received”, the communiqué reads.

The AGO’s communiqué further denies that the English authorities recently sent a rogatory letter to the Public Ministry, but Sol reaffirms that not only has said letter been sent, but was even preceded by a pre-rogatory. The English authorities still await a reply to their missive.

The process that concerns the Freeport shopping centre, in Alcochete, is related to suspicions of corruption in the change made to the Tejo Estuary Special Protection Zone (TESPZ), which was decided three days before the 2002 legislative election through a legal decree.


source: Sol, 10.01.09

2 comments:

  1. Why don't the English authorities investigate the McCanns instead?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Eu só não entendo uma coisinha...

    Porque é que os jornalistas só falam / investigam este caso em vésperas de eleições ???????

    e acreditem que como Portuguesa
    ( ainda por cima com os impostos em dia )gostava que a verdade fosse conhecida e os implicados castigados.

    ReplyDelete