Portugal’s former prime minister José Sócrates said this week that he would respond to the questions raised by the public prosecutor at a third interrogation, claiming he was the victim of “defamation and slander”, with the press publishing groundless stories.
When he entered the Central Criminal Investigation Department on Monday afternoon, the former PM said he would answer all their questions but conversely it should be the prosecutor who should answer for the defamation and slander against him.
The interrogation of the former PM on charges of corruption, qualified tax fraud and money laundering is expected to focus on the newer evidence regarding his dealings with Portugal Telecom and the transfer of millions to failed Grupo Espírito Santo and his friend and businessman Carlos Santos Silva.
The prosecutor claims that Socrates received tens of millions of euros in under-the-table payments for political favours
“I never got money from anybody”, Sócrates told reporters when asked about an €18 million back-hander he is purported to have received from Ricardo Salgado, the former disgraced boss of Banco Espírito Santo.