Saturday, 1 September 2012

New investigations into suspect purchase of Navy submarines

Portuguese authorities will carry out new investigations into the purchase of two submarines from Germany for the Portuguese Navy in 2004 which has been clouded by suspicions of graft, the criminal investigation agency DCIAP said.
The agency said in a press statement that it would request the cooperation of the current and immediate past defence ministers, adding that “historic” documents related to the submarines’ public tender, contract signing, defence offset agreements, and financing remained “missing”.
The defence minister at the time of the purchase, current Foreign Minister Paulo Portas, the leader of the coalition government’s junior partner, dismissed media reports earlier this month of missing documentation.
Such reports, Portas said at the time, “emerge when it’s convenient and submerge when they’re no longer of interest”.

Defence Minister José Pedro Aguiar-Branco recently said he was unaware of any documentation missing from his ministry, but affirmed his readiness for “total collaboration” with the investigation.

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