Corruption Probe: Portuguese prime minister resigns after being caught up in corruption probe

LISBON: Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa mentioned Tuesday he’s resigning after being concerned in a widespread corruption probe.
Costa mentioned in a nationally televised handle that “in these circumstances, clearly, I’ve introduced my resignation to the president of the republic.”
Costa’s surprising announcement got here hours after Portuguese police arrested his chief of employees whereas raiding a number of public buildings and different properties as a part of a widespread corruption probe.
The Supreme Courtroom, the state prosecutor’s workplace mentioned, was additionally inspecting the suspects’ “use of the prime minister’s identify and his involvement to unlock” the practices being probed.
The 62-year-old Costa, Portugal’s Socialist chief since 2015, defended his innocence and teared up whereas thanking his household for his or her help via the years.
“I completely belief the justice system,” he mentioned. “I wish to say eye to eye to the Portuguese, that my conscience is evident of any illicit or censured act.”
“If there are suspicions, than the judicial authorities are free to look into them … I’m not above the legislation.”
Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is anticipated to just accept Costa’s resignation.
An investigative decide issued arrest warrants for Vitor Escaria, Costa’s chief of employees, the mayor of the city of Sines, and three different folks as a result of they represented a flight threat and to guard proof, the prosecutor’s workplace mentioned in an announcement.
It mentioned that the Minister of Infrastructure Joao Galamba and the pinnacle of the nation’s environmental company have been amongst these named as suspects.
The decide is investigating alleged malfeasance, corruption of elected officers, and affect peddling associated to lithium mine concessions close to Portugal’s northern border with Spain, and plans for a inexperienced hydrogen plant and knowledge middle in Sines, on the south coast.
The raids included the premises of the Ministry of the Atmosphere, the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Sines city council, non-public properties and workplaces.
The prosecutor’s workplace mentioned that the probe has decided that the “suspects invoked the identify of the prime minister” when finishing up their allegedly illicit actions.
Portugal’s lithium mines and inexperienced hydrogen tasks are a part of the continent’s inexperienced initiative being pushed by the European Union.
Costa mentioned that he had no prior indication that he was being scrutinized by authorized authorities.
“It is a section of my life that involves an finish,” he mentioned.

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