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Portugal's ex-PM is detained for a third night in tax fraud probe

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By Euronews
Portugal's ex-PM is detained for a third night in tax fraud probe

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates has spent a third night in police custody.

He is one of four people being held over an investigation into suspected tax fraud, corruption and money-laundering.

The former socialist premier was arrested as he arrived at Lisbon airport from Paris on Friday night.

Socrates’s lawyer has confirmed the ex-premier will face further questioning later today (November 24).

Portugal’s current Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said the case was not a political issue.

“I think what is important, is that the people know, at this time , the country has strong institutions that work and we will wait calmly so that justice can take its course and explanations which are deemed necessary will be offered so the country will be fully informed on what is happening.”

Socrates  resigned in the middle of his second four-year term in 2011 as an escalating debt crisis forced him to request an international bailout, which imposed painful austerity on  Portugal.

The development comes just days after Portugal’s Interior Minister Miguel Macedo resigned following another investigation into alleged corruption linked to the allocation of residence permits.