The Public Prosecutor's Office announced Tuesday it was investigating Costa and several members of his cabinet for alleged crimes of prevarication, active and passive corruption, and influence peddling.
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa says he is resigning after being involved in a widespread corruption probe.
The Public Prosecutor's Office announced in a statement on Tuesday that it was investigating Costa and several members of his cabinet for alleged crimes of prevarication, active and passive corruption, and influence peddling.
The 62-year-old Costa, Portugal’s Socialist leader since 2015, asserted his innocence but said in a nationally televised address that “in these circumstances, obviously, I have presented my resignation to the president of the republic.”
Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa quickly accepted Costa's resignation. He is expected to dissolve parliament and call for a new election.
Lithium and mining concessions
An investigation, in which more than 40 locations have been searched, focuses on lithium mining concessions in the Romano and Barroso mines in the north of the country, as well as a project for a hydrogen energy production plant and another for the construction of a data centre, both in Sines.
An investigative judge had issued arrest warrants for Vítor Escária, Costa’s chief of staff; the mayor of the town of Sines; and three others because they represented a flight risk and to protect evidence, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Costa had looked set to remain in power for several years after his Socialists scored a landslide victory in elections last year.
But in December 2022, his infrastructure and housing minister was forced to quitamid an outcry over a €500,000 compensation payment made to a board member of state-owned flag carrier TAP Air Portugal.
A total of 10 senior government officials have left their jobs since Costa’s party won the 2022 ballot.