Former Portugal PM freed from house arrest
Portuguese authorities on Friday said former socialist prime minister Jose Socrates, jailed on corruption, money laundering and tax charges last year, had been released from house arrest but may not leave the country.
“The house arrest has been replaced by a ban on unauthorised leaving of the country,” the public prosecutor’s office said, adding Socrates may also not contact fellow suspects under investigation.
Arrested on November 21 2014, Socrates, prime minister from 2005 to 2011, spent nine months in jail on remand before his release into house arrest early last month.
He was allowed out to vote in Portugal’s October 4 general election, however, and has denied any wrongdoing.
Businessman and Socrates associate Carlos Santos Silva, accused of handling large sums of cash on behalf of Socrates, was also Friday released from house arrest.
The investigations, which broke in 2009 and also fingered former socialist minister Armando Vara, have taken a toll on the Socialist Party.
The party lost the election to the outgoing conservative coalition although the latter lost its absolute parliamentary majority.