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Portuguese ex-PM José Socrates questioned in fraud probe

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Portuguese ex-PM José Socrates questioned in fraud probe


The former prime minister of Portugal, José Socrates, has been questioned by a judge over an investigation into tax fraud, money laundering and corruption.

The former socialist premier is one of four being held in connection with the case. He was arrested at Lisbon airport after arriving on a flight from Paris.

The investigation centres on bank transfers from an unknown source, though the prosecutor’s office made clear it was not linked to the arrest of the former head of striken Portuguese bank Espirito Santo.

Socrates resigned in 2011 following the failure to push through a fourth austerity package in the same year.

It the second scandal to hit the country in a week, following the resignation of the interior minister last Sunday.

Several senior government officials were arrested in a probe into so-called ‘golden visas’. Under the scheme foreign investors buying property worth more than 500,000 euros received residency rights, which allowed free-movement within the EU’s Schengen area.

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