Wednesday, 20 September 2017
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relvasThe long-running Tecnoforma case has been archived, to the relief of Padro Passos Coelho and his friend Miguel Relvas, both of whom were suspected of fraud corruption.

Relvas reacted to the news of the closure of the Tecnoforma case with a characteristic lack of modesty, "There could be no other conclusion."

The investigation begun five years ago and formally was closed and filed on September 4th, so the suspicions of corruption, abuse of power, economic participation and prevarication, through the company Tecnoforma, will have to remain as suspicions.

Miguel Relvas was pleased with the outcome, "I'm not surprised by this conclusion, it’s clear and objective. It could not be otherwise." "Many of those who, at the time, accused me and badly misjudged me, particularly Helena Rosetta in a public function, (then, a Lisbon councilor) should now come to apologise."

The investigators considered that there had been no crime in Tecnoforma’s business dealings - the subject of an European Anti-Fraud Office case - but that there had been strong evidence of fraud in obtaining European funding.

The alleged crimes would have happened when Miguel Relvas was Secretary of State for Local Administration between 2002 and 2004, but the investigation was only opened in 2012 when Passos Coelho was prime minister, much to his irritation.

In 2012 several news reports were published about various training courses carried out by Tecnoforma where Passos Coelho was a consultant and administrator.

The Public Prosecutor's Office has asked the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) to analyse Tecnoforma’s activities to see what it did with more than €3 million in community funds.

Acording to the Public Ministry, no evidence has been found that the company linked to Passos Coelho has benefited from the acquisition of community funds for training.

OLAF detected a number of irregularities, ranging from excessive costs for administrators' salaries, for expenses for services rendered, for renting of cars and real estate, for falsifying payment receipts and for drawing up fraudulent accounts to enable to Tecnoforma to access Community Funds, in collusion with the company Oesteconsult.

In view of these conclusions, the Public Prosecutor's Office appointed an investigator from the Certification Unit of the Agency for Development and Cohesion to analyse the findings.

The purpose was to see if there had been a fraud in obtaining an EU grant. The investigator in question, rather conveniently, found explanations for all the expenses and, according to the Public Ministry, "it is not possible to conclude there has been any illicit, much less criminal, activity.”

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From Wikipedia: “The Head the Portuguese Order of Architects claimed in July 2012 that when Miguel Relvas was secretary of state in 2003 he sought to influence the awarding of a public procurement contract in favour of a company where (the future Prime-Minister) Pedro Passos Coelho worked.

“Miguel Relvas refuted the allegation and said he was initiating a libel lawsuit but, in October 2012, it emerged that indeed Pedro Passos Coelho had personally sought to obtain the awarding of such contract for the company he represented - Tecnoforma, with Miguel Relvas's official backing.

"Moreover, it was also revealed that during Miguel Relvas' term as Secretary of State of Local Administration the large majority of EU financial support for two training programmes in Portugal's center region were channeled to Tecnoforma but that the intended results never materialised."

Comments  

0 #1 Peter Booker 2017-09-14 07:20
As you imply, Ed, Miguel Relvas remains under suspicion, since the fact that proof has not been found is not the same as proof of innocence. Paulo Portas is in the same boat, and these two unpleasant characters deserve each other.
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