From pv magazine Spain
Portugal's Prosecutor's General Office (PGO) reportedly said on Sunday that the transcribed wiretaps implicating the country's Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, in a corruption scandal were incorrect. The transcripts are reported to have named the Minister of Economy, António Costa Silva.
The announcement came five days after Costa resigned as prime minister. He asserted his innocence in the televised address.
PGO said in a statement it was investigating alleged crimes of “malfeasance, corruption, and influence peddling” in certain lithium and hydrogen projects.
This includes companies allegedly receiving exploration concessions while operating Spanish mines, such as the Romano, Montalegre, Borroso and Boticas sites. The probe is also exploring a project related to a hydrogen energy production facility in Sines, as well as a mega-data Start Campus center.
Portuguese newspaper Público reported that Diogo Lacerda Machado, a legal expert also arrested as part of last week's raids, informed the Public Ministry about the lapse, which has been recognized.
Investigating judge Nuno Dias Costa on Monday released five people arrested as part of the investigation.
The remaining detainees – Nuno Mascarenhas, the mayor of Sines, and two administrators of the Start Campus company, Rui de Oliveira Neves and Alfonso Salema – are not linked to the corruption case but are linked to alleged influence peddling, he said.
The Portuguese government published a statement on Sunday saying the investigation's commencement was due to a Code of Criminal Procedure attributing special jurisdiction to the prime minister.
“The procedures carried out within the framework of the operation carried out this week and the evidentiary material collected within its framework, including the documentary and digital compilation, require an exhaustive analysis,” the government said. “Without neglecting these requirements, the investigations will continue with the necessary diligence and speed, with the aim of closing them as soon as possible.”
A snap election has been called for Mar. 10 2024 due to Costa's resignation.
Meanwhile, Portuguese Minister of Infrastructure, João Galamba, resigned this week after “deep personal and family reflection” at the discretion of his loved ones.
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