Missing Madeleine
Come join us...there's more inside you cannot see as a guest!

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates

Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Week before the 2002 legislative election was decisive

Post  pm on Sat 24 Jan - 14:48

Week before the 2002 legislative election was decisive


Freeport was approved within record-breaking time lapse

The environmental evaluation of Freeport was made with explicit indications that it should be ready three days before the legislative election that the Socialist Party (PS) lost to Durão Barroso. This Friday, SIC reveals a document that was emitted only a few days before the election, mentioning that the final evaluation has to be sent to the secretary of State for the Environment until the 14th of March. The document further reveals that some of the evaluations were only delivered on the last day of work of the evaluation committee.

Only three days before the ministry that was headed by José Sócrates gave its positive evaluation to the construction of Freeport, the process was still lacking four evaluations that are normally considered to be fundamental for the final decision.

Despite the lack of important sector evaluations, there was already a proposition for the final appreciation by the evaluation committee.

This can be found in the dossier of the process which was fully consulted by SIC.

The document, 53 pages long, explicitly mentions that three days before the approval "the proposition lacks the sector evaluations: for the Territory Planning, Landscaping, archaeological patrimony and Subterranean Water".



Nevertheless, it is written that the evaluation committee's final report and the proposal for the Declaration of Environmental Impact must be at the Secretary of State for the Environment three days later, on the 14th of March.

Even more urgent: the final meeting of the evaluation committee had to be held on the next day, the 12th of March, with a compromise in between: the necessary evaluations would be requested by the coordinator of the evaluation committee herself, to ensure they would be concluded and delivered within 24 hours.

Architect Fernanda Vara, the regional Environment director, saw this - and on the very day of the final meeting of the evaluation commission, she said that she agreed with this work methodology.

That day was 5 days away of the legislative election that PS lost.

Two days later, the final positive evaluation entered the Environment Ministry. Within a record-breaking time lapse and to be signed immediately.

On that same day, the 14th of March, Rui Gonçalves, the secretary of State with a competence that had been delegated by José Sócrates, gave the construction of Freeport in Alcochete its green light.


source: SIC, 23.01.2009



+/-

+/-

by Joana Morais

Submit Article :- BlinkList + Blogmarks
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates

Post  pm on Sat 24 Jan - 15:07

The English asked Portugal for José Sócrates to be formally investigated, within the Freeport process. The suggestion, which could imply phone tapping of the prime minister and home searches, didn't generate consensus and received immediate reticence from the authorities in our country. The request was formally submitted on the 18th of November, during a meeting in The Hague that was promoted by Eurojust, which sat both countries' polices at the same table.

by Eduardo Dâmaso / Tânia Laranjo / Sónia Trigueirão / Ana Luísa Nascimento / ARF





The possibility of creating a mixed team, which had been advanced by the British authorities before the summer of 2008, wasn't accepted either. Three years after the beginning of the investigation and at a time when elections are looming, the heads of the Public Ministry and the PJ (the meeting was attended by Cândida Almeida, the director of DCIAP; Pedro do Carmo, the PJ's number two; and Moreira da Silva, the head of the PJ's economic crime fight unit) made their reserves concerning the timing of the process clear.

At that time, the English authorities informed that they held a DVD that documented a conversation between an English member of the board of the company that possesses the shopping centre of Alcochete and a partner of consulting firm Smith & Pedro. In that recording, the payment of bribes to José Sócrates, who was then the Environment minister of António Guterres, was clearly assumed. The board of Freeport, which was no longer the same that had launched the project, wanted to recover the amount of 4 million that had been handed over to the consulting firm in order to obtain the licensing and administrative approvals for the project. After an initial phase of some euphoria, Freeport, a company that includes capital from the British royal family, entered financial distress and some shopping centres even went bankrupt.

CM knows that the Portuguese authorities also showed some reluctance concerning the evidence that had been collected by its British counterpart. The recording of the conversation on a DVD is not admissible as evidence under Portuguese law, and on the other hand, the money flow that has been detected does not point directly towards Sócrates. The national representatives understood that at the utmost, it is possible to establish a possible financing of PS [Socialist Party].

In The Hague it was further agreed that the investigations would proceed in an autonomous manner. Portugal needs for the English to fulfil a request for the supply of data that was sent in 2005 and has been dormant for three years, while the English investigation presented itself in The Hague with an identical request. It was within that frame of an autonomous investigation that the day before yesterday, the DCIAP carried out home searches on José Sócrates' uncle, in the offices of the law firm that took care of the legalisation of Freeport and on architect Capinha Santos, who signed the project. The request for cooperation from the PJ in Setúbal had been previously defined. Cândida Almeida and Maria Alice Fernandes, from the PJ in Setúbal, had agreed on the terms of support, which was finally requested by the end of the afternoon on Wednesday.

Law firm Vieira de Almeida & Associados was targeted because it organised the project's financing operation, and the search was accompanied by judge Carlos Alexandre. The money flows that were sent from English accounts into Portugal arrived at Vieira de Almeida's office, but this firm only assumes the payment of the property.

Bribes firm ended in December

Smith & Pedro, Consultores Associados, Lda, the firm that is suspected of having operated as an intermediary in the payment of bribes to Portuguese politicians, including present prime minister José Sócrates, was dissolved on the 5th of December 2008. It had been founded in August 2000, with an initial head office in Faro, at Urbanização do Vale da Amoreira, then moved to Alcochete in 2004 and ended up being dissolved last month when it was already under the mire of English and Portuguese authorities.

One of its partners, Charles Smith, is one of the persons that appear on the DVD that was recorded by an English member of the board of Freeport Plc, who came to Portugal on purpose to find out about the destiny of the millions of euros that had been transferred to Smith & Pedro in several instalments. In the presence of João Branco, an engineer that had been hired by Smith & Pedro to give technical support, the English member of the board questioned Charles Smith about the destiny of the money that had been sent into Portugal. That was when the partner of the consulting firm stated that it had been used to pay commissions to everyone.

The conversation proceeded and at a certain point in time Charles Smith, who was already an arguido in England, tells that everything was agreed upon during a meeting with minister Sócrates to facilitate the licensing of Freeport in the Tejo Estuary Special Protection Zone, a process that had been refused twice already and which would finally be approved by Guterres' Government three days before the election of 2002.

Investigation on TV

RTP: 22 minutes of silence

The State-owned television took 22 minutes to mention the Freeport case. The news that was read out by José Rodrigues dos Santos was based on the note from DCIAP - Central Department for Penal Investigation and Action -, where magistrate Cândida Almeida clarifies that Thursday's searches were made under the initiative of the Portuguese authorities, although it confirms that a rogatory letter from the English police was received. And the news closed with a brief summary of the Freeport case.

SIC: Freeport with full steam ahead

The tv station that is located in Carnaxide recalled the licensing process of Freeport, three days before the election of 2002. It mentioned a report with 53 pages that had been elaborated by the Environment Ministry that awaited evaluations from various entities. Within the deadline that had been set by the Government, the 14th of March, four days were left. Nevertheless, the process went ahead to secretary of State for the Environment Rui Gonçalves. Days later, it was approved by the government.

PS electoral campaign under suspicion

The investigations into the Freeport case indicate that PS may also have been contemplated with part of the four million Euros of commissions that have apparently been paid to several entities that intervened in the licensing process of the largest outlet in Europe.

As far as CM was able to establish, the suspicions point towards the firm of Júlio Coelho Monteiro, José Sócrates' uncle, having been one of the vehicles that were used to circulate the money through offshore companies.

In essence, the money left Portugal into England, through ISA - Investimentos Imobiliários, a construction firm based in Setúbal, where from it was transfered to offshores that are the property of Júlio Monteiro himself.

If this route for the money is confirmed, the investigators will find it extremely difficult to discover its final destiny. From a firm that is based in a fiscal paradise, like the Cayman Islands or Gibraltar, the trace of the money that was destined for possible commissions becomes undetectable. The PM [Public Ministry] and the PJ have to do a job that many consider impossible.

The controversial DVD

A member of Freeport's board questions Charles Smith:

- What was the destiny of the millions of euros that your firm received?

Charles Smith, partner of Smith & Pedro:

- That money was used to pay commissions to everyone.

Freeport member of the board asks another question:

- How do you explain that money had to be paid?

Charles Smith hesitates but starts to tell the story

- The money was used to pay for what had been agreed upon during a meeting with minister Sócrates (he only says the second name) to facilitate the licensing of Freeport.
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Re: Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates

Post  pm on Sat 24 Jan - 15:08

The prime minister's rich maternal uncles

Prime minister José Sócrates has two rich maternal uncles, after all. Júlio Eduardo Coelho Monteiro and Celestino Júlio Coelho Monteiro are half brothers to Sócrates' mother, Maria Adelaide de Carvalho Monteiro.

They are both connected to the construction and real estate sector and own some joint firms. In Setúbal they built several enterprises, namely for residence and for commerce. Real estate agency Etermóvel, presently inactive, was owned by them.

Júlio and Celestino were also reference partners of Grão-Pará, the real estate firm by Fernanda Pires da Silva. But in 1989, Júlio Monteiro sold his participation in this real estate firm and only his brother remained. Celestino still holds 8,77% of Grão-Pará, through one of his firms that is based in the USA. Firstly, this participation belonged to Medes Holding LLC, and in November 2007, the 219 shares were sold to his other firm, Invesmon Limited.

Nevertheless, and so far, only the house and the offices of Júlio Monteiro have been targeted by judicial searches within the Freeport case. Júlio, aged, 67, divorced, born in Vila Real, lives in a sumptuous house with a pool, in the Cascais area, and owns a Bentley and an Audi A8. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

As far as CM was able to establish, it was in the building sector that this uncle of José Sócrates made his fortune. His firm, ISA - in which his brother Celestino also own a share - was the main promoter of a residential block in Parque das Nações. Júlio Monteiro also own several firms with Nuno Miguel Carvalho Monteiro, his son. These include Mito Selvagem, a motorbike sales firm.

Sources with the family guarantee that 'even with so much money and expensive tastes, these are simple people'. Sócrates' uncles and mother 'have a good relationship, despite only speaking to each other every once in a while', according to the same source.

'Something hidden that will be known some day'

When in July 2007 the court condemned the former Polícia Judiciária inspector from Setúbal over the violation of secrecy that is demanded from employees, José Torrão warned: 'I was the cherry on top of the cake of something hidden that will be known some day'.

Torrão, who intervened in some diligences within the investigation into the licensing of Freeport in Alcochete, was accused of trying to influence the case and of having photocopied an internal planning document that ended up being published in 'O Independente' in 2005. The extinct weekly, then directed by Inês Serra Lopes - who was acquitted on trial -, then advanced that the candidate for prime minister and former Environment Minister, José Sócrates, was under investigation. The news were denied but the former inspector ended up being condemned due to violation of secrecy.

‘I DO NOT VOTE IN MY NEPHEW’S PARTY’ (Julio Eduardo Coelho Monteiro, uncle of Socrates)

Correio da Manhã – Were you surprised by the searches?
Julio Monteiro – It seems impossible what is happening to me. I delivered everything they asked me and I can not say more because I have to respect the confidentiality of investigations. I am an honest ‘Transmontano’ [Northern Region]. Anyone who knows me knows that.

- But you must admit that the fact that the searches occurred in your house and company casts doubts?
- I am not the person that is shown in the news. I am honest. If you want to hit someone then hit that person directly and do not go around. You have messed with the wrong person.

– Are you talking about your nephew, the Prime Minister José Sócrates, and are you saying that this is a political issue?
– I don’t vote on my nephew’s party, but I am very proud with to be his uncle. He is a very brave boy. And it can only be a political thing. But I am not politician, nor do I meddle with parties.

– Do you or did you have business with your nephew, particularly in the Freeport? Do you have a close relationship?
– I only helped in some contacts. I can not say anything else. We are just family. There is not much interaction because he doesn’t have the time. Even is mother complains that it is difficult to talk with him.

‘I ARRANGED A MEETING WITH SÓCRATES’

Julio Eduardo Coelho Monteiro, uncle of the Prime Minister José Sócrates, said that it was he who had arranged a meeting between Charles Smith, a partner at Smith & Pedro, and his nephew, then Minister of Environment.

The TVI last night gave some extracts of the interview that the uncle of Socrates gave to the weekly 'SOL', in which Julio Eduardo Coelho Monteiro says that he was contacted by Charles Smith because someone was asking to the company Smith & Pedro four million Euros to license the Freeport.

When the ‘SOL’ journalist asked him who was asking the money, Julio Eduardo Monteiro Coelho says he did not know exactly, but it seemed to be a firm of lawyers.

The uncle of José Sócrates told to Charles Smith that that was impossible and that he would talk to the nephew. In a telephone conversation, with the then Minister of Environment, José Sócrates, he told him the version of Charles Smith and heard from the mouth of Socrates the following: ‘Lies, uncle. Send the guy to talk with me’

Julio Eduardo Coelho Monteiro told the report of the conversation to Charles Smith, who called the Ministry of Environment to arrange the meeting.

The uncle of José Sócrates does not know with whom the English businessman spoke with, but he admits that he [Charles Smith] combined the meeting with Socrates through the secretary of the Minister of Environment. Then, says the uncle of Prime Minister, I never knew anything else, ‘They told me nothing, they got the permit and not even a word they told me. Not even a thanks. I am upset with that.

The uncle of Socrates explained as well how he met Charles Smith: ‘His wife (CM knows what it is called Linda Smith) is the administrator of a condominium in Quinta do Lago (the CM knows that is the LakeSide Village) and we met because of that.’

Questioned by the ‘SOL’ journalist on the offshores that are in his name, Julio Eduardo Correia Monteiro proved to be surprised because they already knew that and exclaimed: 'This investigation is already advanced.’

And soon after that he guaranteed that it had nothing to do with the case or Freeport or with those funds, that it was completely out of the case and that his offshores were ‘not used for anything like that.’ Concluding he said: 'I'm telling you all of this and I have not yet talked with my nephew. I do not know if he will like it or not.’

Quotes

‘I met Charles Smith because his wife is the administrator of a condominium in Quinta do Lago.’

‘Charles Smith told me that they were asking him for four million Euros to give a license to the Freeport.’

‘It seems that those who were asking him for these four million was a law firm.’

‘I told him that it was impossible and that I would talk to my nephew.’

‘I called my nephew and told him what Charles Smith had, the four million story.’

‘My nephew's answer was: That is a lie, uncle. Send the guy to with me.’

‘I spoke to Charles Smith, informed him and told him to arrange a meeting with my

‘I think Charles Smith arranged a meeting with my nephew through the secretary.’

‘Not even a word was said. They got the permit and not even a thank you. I am upset because of that.’

‘Offshores in my name? How do you know that?’

‘I do not know if my nephew will like this or not. I have not yet talked with him.’

Sócrates does not remember his uncle request

José Sócrates confirms that as a Minister for the Environment, he held an ‘extended’ meeting in the presence of promoters of the Freeport venture and with representatives of the City Council of Alcochete, but he can not remember the request of his maternal uncle, Julio Monteiro Coelho, tor receive the promoters of the project.

'This meeting was held at the request of the City of Alcochete. I admit, though I do not remember that fact, that my uncle, Julio Monteiro, could have requested for me to receive the promoters in order to clarify the position of the Ministry on the project ', said yesterday the prime minister, in a note to the Media, in which he revealed his outrage and repudiates the news that involve him in the Freeport case.

In the same communiqué, Socrates ensures that the Environmental Impact Declaration that was favourable to the outlet of Alcochete was issued by Secretary of State for Environment, Rui Goncalves, ensuring however that the 'environmental approval of the project had fulfilled all the legal rules applicable at the time,' claiming to be victim of "slanderous insinuations and allegations." The Prime Minister has also turned the pressure on the MP to complete "the investigation quickly."

CHRONOLOGY

January 2002: LICENSING
The first application for a permit for the commercial area Freeport, in Alcochete, entered the City Council in January 2002. The first draft was rejected.

March 2002: MEETING
March 14th, just three days before the elections that Ferro Rodrigues lost [to the PSD], José Sócrates, the minister of the Environment folder, approved the project at the [last] Council of Ministers.

February 2005: 'INDEPENDENTE'
The Weekly 'Independente' published a document with the letterhead of the PJ - who came to be known as false - and that pointed José Sócrates, the candidate to be prime minister, as a suspect.

July 2007: JUDGMENTS
José Torrão, former inspector from the PJ of Setúbal, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for breach of secrecy. He was accused of being the 'source' for 'O Independente'.

September 2008: AVOKED
The DCIAP requested the Freeport process to be consulted, which had been for three years in the Public Ministry of Montijo. Weeks after the case was avoked.

18 November 2008: MEETING
PJ's leaders and officials of the Public Ministry met in The Hague, Netherlands, to set a possible collaboration between the two entities.

December 2008: DVD
It was published in the press the existence of a DVD that had records of a conversation between an English administrator and a shareholder of the consulting firm Smith & Pedro. That one spoke of the payment of 'gloves' [bribes].

22 January 2009: SEARCHES
The Public Ministry and the PJ of Setúbal did searches in the house of the uncle of Socrates, to the lawyer who handled the case and to the architect Capinha Lopes who made the project.

NOTES

FREEPORT

The legalization of the space was made in record time. The environmental impact study was approved by the Council of Ministers, just three days before the PS lost the elections.

2005

The Freeport case first appeared in public at the beginning of the legislative election campaign that brought face to face Santana Lopes [PSD] and Socrates [PS]. At the time, the weekly ‘O Independente’ spoke of a list of 15 suspects. The news led to a process in which an inspector of the Judiciary was convicted.

Source: Correio da Manhã

Minor Update I The Prime Minister will give a statement regarding the Freeport Case to the media, in Alfândega do Porto, at 12:00, today.

Minor Update II The weekly newspaper Expresso revealed today, that Nuno Monteiro, the Prime Minister cousin sent an email to the Freeport representative allegedly asking for a reward, in money for being an intermediary between Charles Smith and the Minister of the Environment at the time, José Sócrates.

Translation By Astro and Joana [with loads of coffee and tea]



+/-

+/-

by Joana Morais
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Sócrates' uncle tells how he established contact between his nephew and Freeport's representatives

Post  pm on Sun 25 Jan - 19:15

by Felícia Cabrita

Júlio Eduardo Coelho Monteiro, a businessman, told Sol how he established contact between Freeport's representative and José Sócrates. And he replies to suspicions about his offshores

In the English authorities' investigation into the 'Freeport case', you appear connected to a firm that worked as a consultant for the outlet, Smith & Pedro, as an intermediary to obtain the licensing for the project...

Completely false. I met Charles Smith through his wife, who was the manager of a condominium at Quinta do Lago, where I bought an apartment in 1992. That gentleman was linked to Freeport, later on - and one day he complained to me that a law firm was demanding four million contos [twenty million euros] to obtain the licensing.

And did you have any intervention in that?

I told him: 'Hey, I don't believe that is possible. I'm going to talk with my nephew'.

And did you?

I did and he said: 'Uncle, that's a pack of lies, because it's me who takes care of those things. Send that person to talk to me'.

Is that what you did?

I told Charles to call the Environment Ministry and to say that he was calling on behalf of minister José Sócrates.

And was the matter resolved?

I never heard anything further... I was even annoyed afterwards, because he used my name and didn't even bother to thank me. I never heard anything further about the matter.

But the English say...

Excuse me for interrupting you, but I don't care what the English say. It's only me who knows, because it was me who spoke directly with my nephew. And he was very indignant, because it was him who was in charge of those issues. If you speak with Charles, ask him what he said and what he went there to do. I regret very much that I facilitated this...

But the authorities have indicia that Smith & Pedro obtained the licensing through...

Only from someone who doesn't know me.

... through your influence with the minister for the Environment.

That's a lie and I'm going to sue them!

But you are a 'suspect', which is not the same as being 'guilty'...

I'm a suspect, but until now I didn't know about any of this!

It is suspected that you have been paid commissions, that went into two offshores...

Two offshores under my name?

Yes. Glenstal Trading Limited, which was constituted in Gibraltar by BCP and with an open account at a branch in Funchal, but also with an account at BPN, opened on Cayman; and another offshore that was also created by BCP but in an American state, with an account on Cayman.

That actually exists. I mean, it existed. But it had no movement, they can't even prove it. It's a pure lie that I received... I was even very annoyed because Smith never thanked me - and this was highly confidential. But how did they find out about my offshores?

During the course of the investigation.

But for an investigation to exist there has to be a minimum of data. Nobody can go around checking whether people own offshores or not, unless there is a serious indicium. Which is not my case, is it?

Well...

But I have all the movements from those firms and there wasn't the slightest movement. As a matter of fact, that's not even based in banks.

Did your firms have open accounts at CGD [Portuguese state bank]?

I never owned any accounts at CGD, maybe at Banif, but I don't have any movements there either, I'm absolutely certain.

So ISA, Farol do Oriente and Imexol had no accounts at CGD?

Hey, it's true! But who could be investigating that, except for some institution? And I'm going to go onto those persons because nobody can have his personal life rummaged, isn't it?

Well, it's the police...

But how can the police do something like that? Now they know my firms? They happen to be public, they have reports, they are registered... But the offshores are not!

Do you confirm that an email was sent to Freeport, signed by the Coelho Monteiro family, informing that the licensing had been unblocked, that it was licensed, and that you awaited your reward - this matter being also known by José Sócrates?

That's a terrible fraud! I would like to access that. Do you have access to that? Only if someone entered my home. I don't even know how to send emails. You can ask my secretary. I only know how to use the fax machine. That could only come from Charles... And I've only been with him three or four times.

So this request was in which year?

When my nephew was the minister for the Environment.

And when did you meet Charles Smith?

I already told you it was through his wife and then we became friends... I mean, I was with him three or four times here in Lisbon. He made his request to me - but when he saw that I didn't follow through on anything, he started to move apart. Later on, on the day before, he called me telling that he was being asked four millions for the licensing and I spoke to my nephew who told me he should call on Monday at 9 a.m. to schedule an appointment through his secretary (whom I even think is his cousin and whom he shouted with a lot). And that's how Smith got this audience. Then I never saw him again. It was only after the election that I heard that there was an intention process but I thought: 'Right, that's another one'.

The email that I told you about, wasn't it sent from your firm Neurónio Criativo?

That firm belongs to my son, Hugo. That could have happened, because he had a project for Freeport in the marketing area. But Smith, who was taking care of that, I don't think he did anything - and it ended up closing because there was no income.

But that was only in 2004. So did your son also know Charles Smith?

Of course. We all knew each other from the Algarve.

Back to CGD. Do you deny having an account there?

Ah, wait... Yes indeed. But that is completely unrelated to the subject. I'm going to tell you something confidential, may I?

Of course!


source: Sol, 24.01.2009
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty English investigate contacts between Sócrates and Freeport representatives

Post  pm on Sun 25 Jan - 19:19

by Felícia Cabrita

A meeting between representatives from Freeport Plc and the then minister for the Environment, José Sócrates, is one of the master pieces of the investigation that is being carried out by the British authorities into the 'Freeport case'

According to the authorities of the United Kingdom, the first initiatives to traffic influences originated from the outlet's management board and counted on help from the ambassador in Portugal. But the meeting with the minister was ultimately scheduled after diligences by Júlio Coelho Monteiro - Sócrates' maternal uncle and an entrepreneur in the real estate business, one of the suspects that were targeted by searches last Thursday -, who confirmed to Sol that he asked his nephew to receive the representatives from Freeport Plc.

The meeting took place in January 2002, when Freeport, with a fresh breath, advanced to obtain the approval of a third Environmental Impact Study (the former ones had not been approved by the entities at the Environment Ministry), the only way to obtain the licensing of the project well within the Special Protection Zone (SPZ) of the Tejo Estuary.

With the interview that he gave to Sol last week - and which is published in this edition - Júlio Monteiro confirms an essential piece of the British investigation: that he was the 'bridge' between his nephew and Charles Smith, the partner of consultancy firm Smith & Pedro that was hired by Freeport to render the project viable.

Júlio Monteiro says: "One day, [Smith] complained to me that a law firm was demanding 4 million contos [20 million euros] to obtain the licensing of Freeport".

He then spoke to José Sócrates, telling him about these complaints. The minister of the Environment replied: "Uncle, that's a pack of lies because I'm the one who takes care of such things. Send that person to speak to me".

Sol contacted José Sócrated through his mobile phone: "I don't speak with you!", the prime minister replied.

On Thursday, in Zamora (at the end of the Iberian Summit), he reacted to the news about the searches that had been carried out in Lisbon: "What I expect is for the authorities to do their job swiftly. This case appeared during the electoral campaign in 2005 and returns now when elections are also to be disputed".

'Corrupt payments'

In the English process, according to what Sol revealed in its last edition, there is also a DVD that shows Charles Smith, who was unaware of being filmed, explaining to a member of the board of Freeport how millions of pounds (partly belonging to the English royal family) went astray.

In his conversation with the British member of the board, Smith, who had been in charge of obtaining the approval for the Environmental Impact Study and the project's licensing, told about the obstacles that he met throughout the process and confessed that the money was used for "corrupt payments", in order to satisfy what had been agreed during a meeting in 2002, when the new EIS's approval was discussed, "with Sócrates" and some elements of his staff.

It is recalled that in order to render the Freeport in Alcochete, the largest outlet in Europe, viable, the approval, on the 14th of March 2002 (three days before the legislative election), of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) - the third one, after the former two ones failed to be approved due to environmental consequences - was decisive.

A little earlier, in 2001, the Environment Ministry had rendered the second EIS inviable, alleging that the project dragged "high charges of visitors and of occupation that do not match the goals of the politics of the environment and of preservation of nature that led to the creation of the SPZ" of the Tejo Estuary.

On the same date (14th of March), during the last Ministers' council under António Guterres, with the Government in a management phase, a law decree was approved that changed the boundaries of the Tejo Estuary SPZ. There was no public discussion, nor basic technical studies, not even the obligatory consultation with the European Commission.

Meanwhile, in late 2004, based on an anonymous denunciation, the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) in Setúbal started an investigation, and in February 2005 the Public Ministry opened an inquiry over suspicions of corruption, participation in an illicit business deal, traffic of influences and fiscal fraud. The PJ then carried out several searches, namely at the Town Hall of Alcochete.

In the mayor's office, José Dias Inocêncio, and in those of his assistants, the entire documentation concerning the licensing and construction of Freeport were apprehended. But it was at Smith & Pedro that, apart from large amounts of documentation, a computer was apprehended and large amounts of electronic correspondence that was relevant for the process were recovered from its hard drive.

DVD brings English to Portugal

It was only in 2007 that the authorities in the United Kingdom opened an inquiry. At that time, they travelled to Portugal and contacted the PJ in Setúbal, which had sent them a rogatory letter two years earlier asking for access to the bank accounts belonging to Freeport and to Charles Smith, and requesting authorisation to hear some of the English members of the board. A request that the English police had not replied to, yet (and which has not been completely fulfilled to this day).

The English already held the DVD at that time. Smith, while reporting on the company's history and on the bribes that had been paid to entrepreneurs, municipal managers and politicians, mentioned a cousin of the Environment minister, who had also received commissions, as one of the links to the political power.

This person was Hugo Monteiro, the oldest son of José Sócrates' maternal uncle. After the aforementioned meeting at the Environment Ministry, an email was sent to Freeport, mentioning that the process was already unblocked, that the Monteiro family awaited its reward and that the minister of the Environment would be made aware of this electronic correspondence.

Júlio Monteiro referred to Sol that this email, if it exists, can only have been sent by his son: "My companies had no imprinted logo, but Smith, who had been involved in business with my son before, was supposed to take care of a project at Freeport for him, in the marketing area, at a company that ended up closing because it had no invoicing. That email can only have come from there".

This company is Neurónio Criativo, registered only in 2004 and directed to activities in the area of showbusiness, restaurants and bars, which lasted only for a few months.

During the course of the investigation, the English detected the exit of high amounts of money from Freeport Plc, in London, that had suspicious destinations in Portugal. Among these is consultancy firm Smith & Pedro, to which successive instalments 50 thousand pounds were transfered.

Vieira de Almeida's firm investigated

Vasco Vieira de Almeida, the outlet's lawyer, is also targeted by the authorities. According to sources that know the process, the statements made by witnesses in England, as well as the trail of the money that defalcated Freeport, indicate that at least another five million pounds had as destiny a firm that was created by Vasco Vieira de Almeida and that it has nothing to do with his law firm. The commissions, according to the English investigators, left Freeport's head office in Monaco and arrived in Portugal through offshores that are based in Switzerland and in Gibraltar.

Two offshores belonging to Júlio Monteiro were also detected, and their financial flows are being analysed. The first one is Glenstal Trading Limited, which was created by BCP [a Portuguese private bank] in Gibraltar and which has an account at a branch office in Funchal, but also with an account at BPN [a Portuguese private bank currently involved in a financial scandal of major proportions], opened in Cayman. The other offshore, which was created by the same bank in 2001, is based in Wyoming, an American state, and also passes through Cayman.

Meanwhile, Júlio Monteiro guaranteed to Sol that his firms outside of the country "have no movement whatsoever and the police will not be able to prove anything through those". And he clarified that "the police took diverse documentation" from his home, namely referring to "old offshores". At Isa, a real estate firm in Setúbal that is owned by Júlio Monteiro, the complete accountancy has been apprehended.


source: Sol, 24.01.2009
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty "I never spoke to Mr Sócrates"

Post  pm on Mon 26 Jan - 14:43

Suspicions - Freeport intermediary spoke to Correio da Manhã in the Algarve

by Rui Pando Gomes

In a happy, relaxed tone, Charles Smith - who is pointed out as the intermediary who obtained the approval for Freeport after a meeting with José Sócrates - assured CM that he "never" spoke with the present prime minister.

After heavy insistence for him to clarify his connection to the controversial case, he assumed that he had a meeting at the Environment Ministry, but without the presence of the then Minister for the Environment. "I never spoke to Mr Sócrates", he asserted yesterday at the door to his house in Almancil, making it clear that, soon, he will "tell everything" that he knows so "there are no doubts left".

He says he is at the disposal of the Portuguese and English police and justice for "everything to be clarified" and "fully" denies that there was corruption in the licensing of the Freeport project.

When questioned by CM if a video exists in which he reveals that the missing millions were used for corrupt payments, as agreed during a meeting with Sócrates and his staff in 2002, Smith preferred to shrug his shoulders and to say that "everything will be clarified at the right time".

Concerning the statements from José Sócrates' uncle, who said that it was him who facilitated his approximation to his nephew the minister, he merely confirmed that "it was through the wife", who is a condominium manager at Quinta do Lago, in the Algarve, where Júlio Monteiro owns a luxury villa. "Júlio has already explained that he knew my wife and he only gave me an indication, that's all", Smith underlined.

Despite the fact that his name has been linked to the case, he doesn't consider that there was an intent to harm him personally. "Major confusions do happen in life and this is one of them", he referred. He considers everything a "major confusion" and guarantees that his conscience is "absolutely tranquil".

Once more questioned by CM about the reason why the English investigations point towards him, Charles referred that he wished to make no further comment. He considers himself a "mere construction fiscal" and wishes to continue to work in Portugal.

Suspicions of corruption emerged in 2004

The first suspicions that the construction of Freeport, in Alcochete, involved acts of corruption emerged in 2004, during the Polícia Judiciária's (PJ) investigations. CM knows that the issue was approached by the PJ and that at that time, there were rumours in circulation that the approval of the project's licensing had depended on the payment of commissions from British firm Freeport Plc. Quercus was one of the entities that were heard by the PJ.

With the revelations of the last few days, namely the suspicion that Freeport Plc paid four million euros of bribes in order to obtain approval for the project in Alcochete, the Freeport case gains a new dimension. Yesterday, a source that knows the process told CM that "in 2004 persons close to Manuel Pedro [a partner at consultancy firm Smith & Pedro] said that they had heard talk about payments to render the project viable".

What is certain is that the first instruction judge in the Freeport case detected "indicia that the suspects practised crimes of passive corruption for an illicit action and economical participation in a business deal". The suspects were Manuel Pedro, from Smith & Pedro, José Inocêncio, the former Mayor of Alcochete, Honorina Silvestre, a former member of the Municipal management, and José Manuel Marques, a former consultant for the local municipality.

Quercus opposed the project since the beginning. And it even filed a complaint with the European Commission, which never replied to the environmentalists.

Francisco Ferreira, head of Quercus: "Freeport will become another condominium"

Correio da Manhã - Will Quercus continue to question the European Commission (EC) about Freeport?
Francisco Ferreira - We'll try to find out with the EC what initiatives were taken after we filed the complaint, in 2002, because we never received news concerning its archiving.

- Is the politics of consummate facts worthwhile in Portugal?

- It has been practised by every government. The civil society is impotent against the political power.
- Freeport was saved from bankruptcy. Should this case serve as an example to politicians?

- Now they say that Freeport is doing better, but the day will come when we'll see another closed condominium with a view over the Tejo, in its place.

Televisions

Telejornal - The subject occupied the initial 10 minutes, with a focus on Charles Smith.

Jornal da Noite - SIC opened with Charles Smith breaking his silence, denying the meeting with Sócrates.

Jornal Nacional - The case is the third news item, with the prosecutors demanding for impartiality from the Government.


source: Correio da Manhã, 26.01.2009

By Astro
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Re: Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates

Post  Guest on Wed 28 Jan - 16:27

I keep reading these freeport threads but I cant make any sense of it Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates 613255
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Re: Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates

Post  Guest on Wed 28 Jan - 16:56

Dogwood wrote:I keep reading these freeport threads but I cant make any sense of it Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates 613255

Me neither Dogwood, but I am sure there is a reason for them. Way back I think I read stuff about the politics of building this shopping centre was somehow tied in with the political help the McCanns were given, but it was all a bit too deep for me.
Anonymous
Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty English police suspects José Sócrates

Post  pm on Wed 28 Jan - 21:51

English police suspects José Sócrates



The English police suspects that José Sócrates facilitated, demanded or received money for the licensing of Freeport. According to TVI, the rogatory letter that was sent by the English authorities mentions that the then minister of the Environment participated at a meeting with the outlet's founder and that the money was paid to a cousin of Sócrates

The rogatory letter that was delivered to the Portuguese authorities by the police indicates that José Sócrates facilitated, demanded or received money in the licensing process of Freeport in Alcochete.

According to a TVI report, which can be seen at www.tvi.iol.pt, the then minister of the Environment participated in a meeting with several persons, including the founder of the outlet himself, Sean Collidge. The money that was used to facilitate the process was allegedly paid to a cousin of Sócrates, according to the British police's suspicions.

Questioned by TVI, the prime minister's cabinet directed any reaction towards the words that were spoken by prosecutor Cândida Almeida today. The prosecutor that is responsible for the Freeport investigation stated this Wednesday that there are no arguidos, not even suspects.

This afternoon, before the news about this rogatory letter containing the English police's suspicions about José Sócrates which was delivered to the Portuguese authorities became known, the prime minister insisted that the change of the special protection zone of the Tejo estuary had nothing to do with the licensing of the Freeport enterprise.


source: Sol, 28.01.2009

+/-

+/-

by astro
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Freeport - Sócrates is not above the law

Post  pm on Sun 1 Feb - 17:51

by Francisco Moita Flores*

"Sócrates is not above the law. But he's not below it either, to be judged and assassinated on the village square"

I've been following the Freeport case with a feeling that is a mixture of vomit and nausea. I don't know if it's a dark campaign. But I have no doubt that it's an hysterical campaign that once again leaves the journalists filled with nervous heat, in which journalists comment on what other journalists write, in which many news contradict so many other news, in which within the cadre of servile and obedient mentality, that was inherited from the past times of all submissions, anything that comes from England has to be good, while whatever is done here is no good, in which hatred, speculation, personal vanity, mixed with loads of ignorance, emerge. Politics is mixed with possible corruption crimes, and endless debates that focus more on banal discussion than on serious analysis are causing terrible damage to this poor country that has been massacred by so much damage, by so many crises, by so much ignorance holding a diploma.

As one reads what is available in various formats, listening to what is being said, I understand prosecutor Cândida Almeida better, possibly the only serene and firm voice that could be heard, but which was quickly diluted in the noise of the storm. Criminal investigation does not commiserate with what is 'being said', with speculation about coincidences in the approval of this or that project, with the excitement that surrounds the statements made by an uncle. Those are mere traces. What really matters, under a criminal perspective, is to find out whether or not a given political person has received money, or other favours, to obtain a given purpose. If he received, who paid him. How he paid. Where he paid. If he received, where the money is. Who gave. Who saw it being given. Where it was given. When it was given. How much was given. How it was given. What matters is to demonstrate, through documents and/or testimonies, that a given person has received. To establish that which is the essence of a criminal process: the causal nexus between the crime and the criminal.

Until now, all that we positively know is that a man named Smith collected millions from his fellow countrymen, saying it was to pay A, B and C. Says he. Or said he. I don't know. All that it reveals is that Smith collected, or wanted to collect, high amounts. Concerning the second phase of the investigation, we're at point zero. Not a clue. Not a lead. Not even a coincidence between law decrees and elections are evidence of anything. We're left with the circus of debates, of small politics of the most shameful variety, while Sócrates' image sinks in the middle of the vomit. He is not above the law. And he should be investigated. But he is not below it either, as in so many other cases before, to be judged and assassinated on the village square.


source: Correio da Manhã, 01.02.2009


* University professor

+/-

+/-

by astro
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Re: Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates

Post  Susan on Sun 1 Feb - 18:30

Oh my! That sentence rings bells:

a man named Smith collected millions from his fellow countrymen, saying it was to pay A, B and C.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________
\'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.\' Abraham Lincoln
Susan
Susan
Administrator
Administrator

Female
Number of posts : 11477
Age : 59
Location : Spain. The place where children are welcome in tapas bars
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

http://missingmadeleine.forumotion.net

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Do you still belive?

Post  pm on Wed 4 Feb - 12:45

Manuela Ferreira Leite vetoed any political use of the Freeport case, however indirectly the PSD is taking advantage of one of the most difficult moments of the Prime Minister José Sócrates. Today, the Social Democratic youth [JSD] started an offensive pre-electoral outdoor campaign with the theme: “Do you Still Believe?”, where Sócrates is nicknamed of “Pinócrates”, in an allusion to Pinocchio.



In the outdoors as well as in the internet campaign, the apparent idea is to confront the Prime Minister with the promises he has done to the country. Without referring explicitly the Freeport case, the campaign targets the credibility of Socrates. Purportedly.

On the issue of the campaign I have to wonder about one thing: was the idea of the pun between Sócrates and ‘Pinócrates with-a-long-nose’ commissioned to a specialized marketing team or something that came out of a brainstorming session of the JSD?



Because only a publicity genius would have the audacity of creating such an original political message – the intellectual refinement, the political maturity leaves me at awe, and speculative still about the ones who have invented these large posters. If the JSD whiz kids imagined this absolute cunning and classy outdoors this country can certainly anticipate a great deal out of these future leaders; they in their turn will be expecting a lot from the country…



By Joana Morais
pm
pm
Platinum Poster
Platinum Poster

Female
Number of posts : 4300
Age : 47
Location : Cave of the MOUNTAIN OF THE 3RD WORLD - PORTUGAL - St Gerald i am sending your goats to you again
Warning :
Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Left_bar_bleue0 / 1000 / 100Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Right_bar_bleue

Registration date : 2008-07-21

Back to top Go down

Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates Empty Re: Freeport Case: English Wanted to Investigate Sócrates

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum