Court orders “immediate destruction of wiretaps” on former Prime Minister José Sócrates

Would you like to know how Portuguese “justice” works?

The judge presiding over the trial of the Face Oculta case announced today that “HAS BEEN ORDERED THE IMMEDIATE DESTRUCTION OF WIRETAPS” made to former Prime Minister José Sócrates.

Kim Jong Un would be so proud of the Portuguese!

Judge Raul Cordeiro announced the verdict: “The products ARE NOT AVAILABLE for consultation, as their immediate destruction has been ordered”.

Open your eyes EU and the world! If Portugal were a person, it would be a con man, and a very, very nasty one.

The following article is a translation. You can find the link to the original website at the end of it.

The judge presiding over the trial of the Face Oculta case announced today that the “immediate destruction” of wiretaps made to former Prime Minister José Sócrates was “ordered”,

a measure to be carried out “in due course”. The decision was taken following a request made on May 15th by Paulo Penedos, a defendant who is being tried for the crime of influence peddling.

At issue are five voice recordings and 26 written messages exchanged between Sócrates and Armando Vara. The documents have been stored in a safe at the Ovar Court since the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Noronha do Nascimento, gave the order to destroy the wiretaps of the process, in December 2010. The transcripts that are in question today escaped that first execution, because they were accidentally copied.

This Tuesday, and after checking the content of the wiretaps, judge Raul Cordeiro communicated the verdict:

“the products are not available for consultation, given that their immediate destruction was ordered”, which corresponds to the will expressed by the Public Ministry on May 30th.

“Not only should those products not be made available for consultation, they should also be destroyed in a timely manner”,

since the copies of the conversations between Sócrates and Vara “were the subject of a decision by the president of the STJ, which became final and unappealable, ordering their destruction”, defended prosecutor Marques Vidal.

Paulo Penedos, the lawyer and socialist activist who is being tried for influence peddling in the case of alleged corruption involving businessman Manuel Godinho, asked to be informed about the existence of copies of the wiretaps on Sócrates, and whether they would be destroyed or provided to the defendants. Since the beginning of the process, Paulo Penedos has defended the non-destruction of wiretaps, claiming the importance they can have in his defense.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office, which supports the destruction of the conversations, argued before Penedos’ request that the use of only part of the wiretaps could dictate the annulment of the evidence by the Constitutional Court.

Penedos will ask for the nullity of wiretaps

In response to the Aveiro Court’s decision, Paulo Penedos declared that his defense should choose to request the nullity of the telephone taps carried out throughout the investigation. Upon leaving the courtroom after this morning’s session, the defendant complained against the

“systematic and repeated destruction of evidence” that has marked the Face Oculta case.

“We are talking about a form of evidence whose access, contextualization and perception of its content was not allowed to my defense and obviously this will have legal consequences”, he told journalists. “Obviously, these means of evidence cannot be used against me, because I have always been opposed to such destructions taking place,” he added.

Pointing out flaws in the conduct of the process, Penedos condemned the decisions of the STJ and the PGR, which “successively ordered the destruction of wiretaps, did not validate them, which cut processes and summaries of telephone wiretaps”. In the defendant’s view, “these practices are reprehensible.” “These practices not only harm the defendant Paulo Penedos, but tarnish the image of justice”, he concluded.

No evidence “against the Prime Minister”

The investigation into the Face Oculta case collected 11 conversations between Armando Vara, also accused in the influence peddling case, and José Sócrates, prime minister at the time of the crimes.

After consultation, the Attorney General of the Republic, Pinto Monteiro, determined that the content of the wiretaps had no criminal relevance.

“There is no evidence that justifies the initiation of criminal proceedings against the Prime Minister

(…) for committing the crime of attacking the rule of law, which is why he ordered the archiving of all the documents received”, read the statement of the PGR, in November 2009.

A month later, the presiding judge of the Supreme Court of Justice decreed the nullity of the wiretaps and their respective destruction.

A country where criminals and the powerful are systematically protected to the detriment of victims and its citizens is the definition of a dictatorship, which is why Portugal should leave the EU.


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