Operation Marquis: Sócrates wants the matter not sent for trial to become final and unappealable – Last Minute

Former Prime Minister José Sócrates asked the Central Criminal Court to “declare the final and unappealable decision” of the Marquis Operation process regarding the facts in which there was a decision not to bring it to trial.

Portuguese

In an application addressed to the presiding judge of the Lisbon Criminal Court collective, which the Lusa agency had access, Pedro Delille, Socrates’ lawyer, asked that “the final and unappealable decision regarding the non- pronunciation”. To that end, the lawyer alleges that the 120-day period that the investigating judge (Ivo Rosa) granted the Public Ministry (MP) to appeal this part (non-pronounced) of the investigative decision ended last Thursday, “without the MP have appealed”.

According to the application filed by Socrates’ defense, the period began with the notification of the preliminary ruling on April 9, was suspended 45 days during the summer legal vacation (from July 15 to September 1) and ended “last Thursday- September 23”.

In the application, Pedro Delille states that the period of 120 days granted by the investigating judge was composed of two installments, namely one of 30 days, corresponding to the legal term of appeal and one of 90 days, corresponding to the extension of this period under the provisions in number 6 of article 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CPP).

Among other considerations, Socrates’ defense emphasizes that this is “a matter relating to perennial legal deadlines and a norm (of the same article) which is “in all light” an exceptional norm, since “the practice of acts outside the period established by law is exceptional”.

Lawyer Pedro Delille further alleges that the judge (Ivo Rosa) was therefore “forbidden to grant the extension of the term beyond this maximum limit of 30 days, much less under the pretext of the double exception invoked by the MP in the request of 09 Of april”.

“The very allegation of this pretext is absolutely extraordinary and confirms that the MP has always intended to make ‘Operation Marquis’ a true exception process and invoke this “double exceptionality” which is nothing more than a euphemism to attempt pure arbitrariness”, reads if in the application.

It also disputes Socrates’ defense that the investigating judge granted the MP a “term extension three times longer than legally permitted” based on the exceptional rule of that article of the CPP, claiming that “exceptions of exceptions are not admissible in the criminal law, neither double nor triple exceptionalities, nor, of course, exceptional processes”.

Thus – Pedro Delille maintains – by virtue of article 107 nº 6 of the CPP and the constitutional principles and norms invoked, the extension of the period in question must be considered and declared reduced or limited to the legally permissible maximum of 30 days.

“The granting by the judge (Ivo Rosa) of an extension of term (…) with an extension greater than 60 days, three times greater than the maximum legal limit of 30 days, is assumed as a double or triple exceptional decision, violates the criminal law and fundamental principles, rights and guarantees of legal defense and constitutionally enshrined, and it cannot fail to be reduced to the maximum limit of the law”, states the application.

In the application, the lawyer also contests that the peremptory period can be extended with the alternative supplementary period of compliance, with the justification of “fair impediment”.

In conclusion, Pedro Delille requires the presiding judge of the collective to deign to “declare the final and unappealable decision of the non-pronounced decision verified, due to the expiry of the period granted to the MP to file an appeal, without having practiced such an act and that, thus, he left out the possibility of practicing it”.

The investigation of the Operation Marquis process lasted more than two years and had a preliminary ruling on April 9, 2020, with Ivo Rosa having determined that, of the 31 crimes the former prime minister was accused of, Socrates would be tried for three crimes of money laundering and three from document forgery.

Of the 28 defendants in the process, five were pronounced: businessman Carlos Santos Silva, former president of BES Ricardo Salgado, former minister Armando Vara and former driver of Sócrates João Perna, the latter for illegal possession of a weapon.

Ex-PT leaders Zeinal Bava and Henrique Granadeiro, businessman Helder Bataglia and former Grupo Lena Joaquim Barroca administrator were exempt during the instruction phase.

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Source: SÁBADO by www.sabado.pt.

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