Ex-Portuguese Prime Minister Indicted on Corruption Charges

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The former prime minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates, has been indicted on graft and money laundering charges after a vast, four-year investigation. Socrates has dismissed the 4,000-page indictment as politically motivated.

Prosecutors have charged Socrates with three counts of passive corruption while holding political office, 16 counts of money laundering, nine counts of forging documents and three counts of tax fraud, committed between 2006 and 2015. He was prime minister from 2005 to 2011.

Socrates is accused of receiving millions of euros in a scheme involving the heads of Espirito Santo and Portugal Telecom, both of which have ceased to exist and their former executives facing other charges in separate investigations that have cost taxpayers and shareholders billions of euros in losses.

Prosecutors said Socrates gave illicit commercial benefits to a construction company, LENA, in return for payments received via middlemen, who were also indicted, via a Swiss bank account.

A former top-level manager at state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos has also been charged with facilitating payments.

Ricardo Salgado, former CEO of Banco Espirito Santo (BES) and head of the Espirito Santo banking family, is charged with paying Socrates to sway Portugal Telecom to follow a strategy defined by Salgado.

Salgado is also accused of paying Portugal Telecom’s former CEO Zeinal Bava and chairman Henrique Granadeiro – both of whom were also indicted.

Read more here: reuters.com

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