Former Portuguese PM Jose Socrates was indicted on laundering charges

FILE PHOTO - Former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, talks to journalists after being released from house arrest in Lisbon, Portugal, October 17, 2015. REUTERS/Hugo Correia

Vastavam web: Former Portuguese prime minister Jose Socrates was indicted on graft and money laundering charges on Wednesday in a vast corruption investigation that he has dismissed as politically-motivated.“The 4,000 pages are part of a spectacle, they only serve to make believe that there is something, when there is nothing,” Araujo told reporters.

The indictment, issued after a four-year inquiry, accuses Socrates of playing a pivotal role and receiving millions of euros in a scheme involving the disgraced former heads of the Espirito Santo banking empire and Portugal Telecom.Socrates, a Socialist prime minister from 2005 to 2011, is charged 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.

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.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.A total of 19 people and nine firms in the construction, resort development, consulting and investment sectors have been indicted. Salgado, the former Portugal Telecom executives and LENA have denied any wrongdoing.