The operation investigates an irregular scheme for green lithium and hydrogen exploration by the Portuguese government. (Understand below)
Transcripts of the recording, culled from a conversation between a consultant and a Start Campus official, would have confused the prime minister with Portugal’s economy minister, António Costa Silva.
This statement was made to journalists by Manuel Magalhães e Silva, lawyer of one of those investigated, Counselor Diogo Lacerda Machado.
According to the lawyer, the error occurred because the title of the Portuguese Minister of Economy was deleted.
This is because during the conversation, Machado had received a request from the director of Start Campus, Afonso Salima, to ask the European Commission to change the criteria for the economic activity of data centres.
Machado then responded that he would try to “decipher” which ministry the issue should be addressed in. “If it’s financial, I’ll talk to Medina right away [ministro das Finanças português] Or with Antonio Mendes, Minister of Foreign Affairs. If it’s about economics, I’ll find a way after reaching Antonio Costa himself [nesse caso, referindo-se ao ministro da Economia]”, He said.
The announcement of the corruption investigation last week led to the resignation of the Prime Minister. He remains interim governor until March, when the country will hold early elections.
Hey g1 He approached the Portuguese Public Prosecutor’s Office to find out whether the authority had acknowledged the error and more details about the implications for the investigation and the next steps of the process, but he had not received any response as of the latest publication of this report.
The plan and the alleged operation
Three different projects are investigated in the same case:
- Lithium exploration concessions at the Romano mines in the village of Montealegre and Barroso in the municipality of Boticas. Both are in the north of the country.
- Hydrogen energy production station project in Sens;
- A data center construction project in the city of Sines by Start Campus.
Also according to the Portuguese website PGR, the operation carried out by the police on the morning of November 7 carried out 42 search and seizure warrants, including:
- Headquarters of the Ministry of Infrastructure.
- Headquarters of the Ministry of Environment;
- State Secretariat for Energy and Climate;
- Companies investigated in the case.
In addition to the Prime Minister, the Portuguese Public Ministry also stated that the Portuguese Minister of Infrastructure, João Galamba, is one of the people being investigated in the case. This was the first time prosecutors had identified suspects from the beginning.
The announcement of the corruption investigation prompted Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa to resign from office. He remains interim governor until March, when the country will hold early elections.
“It is clear that I have tendered my resignation,” Costa said in a statement to the country last week, in which he denied involvement in the irregularities. “I conclude with my head held high. The practice of any illegal act or even any controlled act does not burden my conscience.”
The investigation into António Costa will continue through the investigation, which, according to PGR, is being conducted independently at the Supreme Court of Justice of Portugal.
It is worth noting that under Portuguese law, the Prime Minister will not need to resign even if he is the target of an investigation. His impeachment will not be evaluated by the country’s lower house of parliament unless the prosecutor’s office formally charges him.
After a detention hearing, all those detained in the operation related to the alleged corruption scheme have already been released. The Portuguese Public Ministry also dropped charges of corruption and irregularities. But he insisted on the principle of exploitation of influence.
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