Judicial Council rejects Socrates’ request to impeach judges

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The Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM) has rejected a request from the defense of former prime minister José Sócrates to challenge the panel of judges of the Lisbon Court of Appeal that sentenced him in January for corruption and other crimes in the Operation Marquês case.

The decision taken at Tuesday’s plenary session of the judges’ management and disciplinary body was reported today by Expresso and confirmed to Lusa by an official CSM source. “The Plenary of the Superior Council of the Judiciary rejected the administrative challenge brought by José Sócrates for procedural inadmissibility to challenge,” she said.

At issue was the SCJ’s decision to maintain the panel of three female judges to whom the Operation Marquês appeal had been assigned at the beginning of last year, despite the fact that two of the magistrates had been assigned in September 2023 to the Porto and Guimarães courts of appeal under the magistrates’ movement.

José Sócrates, 66, was accused in 2017 by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Operação Marquês case of 31 crimes, namely passive corruption, money laundering, falsification of documents and tax fraud, but in the investigative decision, on April 9, 2021, Judge Ivo Rosa decided to clear the former ruler of 25 of the 31 crimes, pronouncing him for trial only for three crimes of money laundering and three of falsification of documents.

The recent ruling by the TRL almost completely recovered the prosecution’s indictment, which had been dismantled by Ivo Rosa during the pre-trial phase, bringing 22 defendants to trial for 118 economic and financial crimes, with the former prime minister (2005-2011) standing out, who will be tried for three crimes of corruption, 13 of money laundering and six of fraud.

At issue are deals with the Lena group, his involvement in deals with Portugal Telecom and the Espírito Santo Group (GES), and alleged acts carried out in relation to the Vale do Lobo luxury development in the Algarve.

Meanwhile, in March, in another appeal on the case, the Lisbon Court of Appeal ruled in favor of José Sócrates (and businessman Carlos Santos Silva), annulling the investigative decision of April 2021 that referred them to trial for money laundering and falsifying documents and sent the case back to the lower court for a new decision.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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