Manuel Pinho announces complaint against prosecutor and judge Carlos Alexandre

0
562

Manuel Pinho will sue the Public Prosecutor (MP) in charge of the EDP case, Carlos Casimiro, and Judge Carlos Alexandre, following the new seizure of his pension, the former Economy Minister revealed to Lusa.

At issue is the seizure of the ex-governor’s 26,000 euro retirement pension, known at the end of July and only notified this Friday to Manuel Pinho’s defense, who expressed his “astonishment” at the reasons given for this action and at a possible indictment in the case related to alleged favors to EDP, whose investigation was separated from the main case in which he was already accused in December 2022 of allegedly favoring BES.

“The seizure measure was approved by a judge who was on shift on the eve of being assigned to another court and, even more coincidentally, the same judge who had ordered this seizure the previous two times, and the measure was twice reversed by the Court of Appeal. In due course, my lawyers will file an appeal against the decision and a criminal complaint against those responsible for it,” said the ex-governor.

The decision to freeze Manuel Pinho’s pension has already been taken twice by the judge of the Central Criminal Investigation Court (who has since been promoted to judge), following requests from the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and revoked twice by the Lisbon Court of Appeal, in October 2022 and May 2023, respectively.

According to the ex-governor, this new seizure is due to “supposedly being the only defendant in the EDP case who has accounts abroad and children who live outside the country”.

In a written statement sent to Lusa, Manuel Pinho called the case “an ignominy”. The former minister recalled that the case – in which former EDP directors António Mexia and João Manso Neto are also defendants – “has been dragging on for 12 years” without an indictment, a situation for which he considers the prosecutor in charge of the investigation to be “solely to blame”.

“It is normal in a civilized society for a prosecutor who is the subject of disciplinary proceedings and a criminal complaint because of extremely serious homophobic behaviour to feel enraged and lose his sense of boundaries. What is not normal is for him to be allowed to use the justice system and the public purse to achieve personal revenge goals,” he said, alluding to the prosecutor’s suspicions of alleged homophobia against the previous judge in the case, Ivo Rosa.

The EDP case is related to the Contractual Equilibrium Maintenance Costs (CMEC) in which former managers António Mexia and Manso Neto are suspected of corruption and economic participation in a deal to maintain the excessive rents contract, in which, according to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, they corrupted Manuel Pinho and former Secretary of State for Energy Artur Trindade.

The former Economy Minister (between 2005 and 2009) has already been charged in the original case with passive corruption, money laundering and tax fraud. The Public Prosecutor’s Office also charged his wife, Alexandra Pinho, with money laundering and fraud, as well as the former chairman of BES, Ricardo Salgado, who is on trial for active corruption and money laundering.