The prosecutors handling the Operation Marquês inquiry into high-level corruption and money-laundering have asked the Attorney General for at least two more months so they can complete their investigation and case building.
The current deadline is this Friday, March 17th, but the complexity of the case and the task of dealing with 25 official suspects, has forced the extension request which has been submitted by lawyer Rosário Teixeira of the Central Department of Criminal Investigation and Action (DCIAP).
In a tense final few days before Operation Marquês is concluded and formal charges issues to some or all of the 25 suspects, lawyers representing José Sócrates have claimed that the deadline passed on the 13th of March and that they fully expect the inquiry to be dropped.
Sócrates's defense lawyers held a press conference on Tueday evening to argue that the Operation Marquês deadline set by the Attorney General's Office, ended on Monday - a day on which their client had been grilled for six hours at the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action in Lisbon.
With the March 17th deadline looming for formal charges in the Operation Marquês corruption and money laundering case, the former Prime Minister, José Sócrates has stuck to his claim, "I never received anyone's money."
The former socialist PM says he is a victim of "malicious and defamatory campaign."
José Sócrates is to sue the Portuguese State for the delay in the Operation Marquês investigation that has left him in a legal limbo.
The former prime minister also is threatening to go to the European Court of Human Rights over what he calls, ‘political persecution.’
Former socialist prime minister, José Sócrates, indicted for crimes of abuse of power, corruption and money laundering, has demanded the removal of judge Carlos Alexandre who is due to preside over the court proceedings resulting from Operation Marques.
At issue is a SIC interview in which the judge made comments far outside his professional remit. Sócrates’ lawyers already have applied to the Court of Appeal in Lisbon to have judge Alexandre removed from the case.
Lawyers acting for former Prime Minister José Sócrates said that as of Sunday, September 4th, their client should have been able to contact the other defendants in Operation Marquês.
Joao Araujo and Pedro Delille argue that Sócrates is no longer subject to any coercive measure in the case that saw him detained for about 10 months in Évora prison.
The publisher of Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã has been banned from publishing news about Operation Marquês and José Sócrates’ role in the intricate web of corruption that led to his arrest and imprisonment.
The former prime minister’s lawyers successfully obtained an injunction against Cofina, owner of the title and others all of which now are banned from covering the case which is soon to keep the nation enthralled as to the depths of corrupt practices in the corridors of power in Portugal.
José Sócrates’ defence lawyers say that 80 pages are missing from the Operation Marquês file.
The former prime minister is being investigated for tax fraud and money laundering and his lawyers yesterday picked up what they expected to be the complete dossier of allegations against their client.