Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa has resigned following an investigation into allegations of corruption.

Portugal’s Prime Minister, Socialist Antonio Costa, announced his resignation on Tuesday after learning that he and several members of his cabinet are being investigated by Portuguese prosecutors for alleged crimes of indictment, active and passive corruption and trafficking. in the lithium and hydrogen business.

In a statement made to the media, Costa noted that after this information he “clearly” submitted his resignation to the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. “The dignity of the prime minister’s duty is not compatible with any doubts about his integrity,” he said. “This is a phase that is coming to an end.”

The Portuguese president said that he “fully trusts justice”. “One of the great things about democracy is that no one is above the law. Be it a mayor, a minister or a prime minister,” he said.

“During these almost eight years that I served as the Prime Minister, I dedicated my soul and body to the service of Portugal and the Portuguese people. Naturally, I was ready to devote myself with all my energy to the fulfillment of the mandate that the Portuguese entrusted to me until the end of this legislature,” he began, after which he declared that he was “surprised” by the officially confirmed information. Prosecutor’s office. “I’ve never heard of this process, I didn’t know it existed,” he said.

Costa ruled out running for the post of Prime Minister again. “The criminal justice process rarely moves quickly,” he said. “The most important judgment for me, which is my conscience, I am completely calm (…). Things are as they are and I respect the independence of the judiciary.”

In case

The Portuguese prosecutor’s office specified in a statement this Tuesday that it had searched “the spaces used by the prime minister’s chief of staff” and that several suspects were talking about Costa’s involvement in the case “for unlocking procedures.” The allegations will be “independently examined as part of an investigation based at the Supreme Court of Justice,” the public ministry added.

The investigation, in which more than 40 locations are registered, focuses on lithium mining concessions in the Romano and Barroso mines in the north of the country; In addition to the hydrogen energy production plant and another data center construction project in both sinuses.

The Prosecutor’s Office issued an arrest warrant against the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Mayor of Sines and two of his administrators at the company “Start Campus” and the lawyer, who will appear before the justice for questioning.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Joao Galamba, and the President of the Board of Directors of the Portuguese Environmental Protection Agency have also been declared “arguidos” (formal suspects, a figure before the charges).

Records are issued by the Prosecutor’s Office and processed through the Public Security Police (PSP) and the Tax and Customs Authority.

The operation involves 17 magistrates from the Portuguese Public Prosecutor’s Office, three judicial magistrates, two representatives of the Bar Association, approximately 145 agents from the PSP and nine tax authorities.

Local media reported that agents also searched the official residence of Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who met with the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, this Tuesday.

Source: El Diario

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