“There is no conclusion of this disciplinary process and it remains under strict secrecy. As soon as it ends, it will be public and can be consulted within certain rules, but, at the moment, it is still pending”, said Filomena Rosa, refusing to reveal how many people are targeted: “We know that the process is pending and that they are employees of the Central Registries, but I cannot say more without violating the rules of secrecy of disciplinary proceedings”.

The disciplinary process was made known on March 15 of this year, following an inquiry into the naturalisation of the Russian businessman and which has already motivated an investigation by the Public Ministry.

In question are alleged irregularities committed in the processes of granting Portuguese nationality to descendants of Sephardic Jews.

The regime for granting nationality to descendants of Sephardic Jews (Jews originally from the Iberian Peninsula expelled from Portugal in the 16th century) was changed in the meantime and as of September 1, access to naturalisation became more demanding, precipitating “a very large demand of services” during the summer.

“We are currently dealing with this influx in the best possible way, increasing means to accelerate these processes. We already had some pending issues and the occasion of the expiry of this period meant that there was a very high demand for the services”.

Between March 1, 2015 and December 31, 2021, 56,685 naturalisation processes were approved for descendants of Sephardic Jews from a total of 137,087 applications that were submitted to the services of the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN).

According to data sent in February to Lusa by the Ministry of Justice, only 300 cases were disapproved during this period, thus leaving, according to data recorded at the end of last year, 80,102 pending requests.