LISBON (AFP) – Former Portuguese prime minis-ter Jose Socrates was remanded in custody Monday on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering, in a case that has stunned Portugal.
Socrates, a 57-year-old Socialist, has been held since his shock arrest on Friday at Lisbon airport after arriving on a flight from Paris.
After lengthy questioning on Monday in con-nection with the corruption probe, a judge deci-ded the ex-premier should remain in detention.
Socrates, who was prime minister from 2005 to 2011, was placed under formal investigation “for tax evasion, corruption and money laundering”, according to the judge’s statement read out to reporters.
His attorney Joao Araujo called the decision “deeply unjust and unjustified” and vowed to appeal. Businessman Carlos Santos Silva and Socrates’ chauffeur Joao Perna were also held in custody. A lawyer, Goncalo Trindade Ferreira, was released on bail.
Searches have been carried out in recent days at Socrates’ home and at business premises in connection with the investigation.
Luis Montenegro, parliamentary leader of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD), said Portugal’s image had been tarnished “both internally and abroad by what has gone on in recent days”.