Thursday, 17 December 2009

Lopes da Mota resigned from Eurojust

A Portuguese judge from the EU anti-crime coordination agency Eurojust resigned yesterday, following a 30 days disciplinary suspension, after the Public Prosecutor's Supreme Council found evidence about wrongful behavior from Mr. Lopes da Mota. Two magistrates conducting the so-called Freeport investigation accused Mr. Lopes da Mota of invoking the name of the Portuguese Prime Minister, José Sócrates, in order to apply pressure over them.
Lopes da Mota was assistant general prosecutor and was president and national member for Portugal at Eurojust -- the European Union body designed to improve coordination in implementing international laws and extraditions. The Freeport case involves allegations that government officials took bribes to approve environmental permits for construction of the Freeport Outlet shopping mall near the Tagus River estuary in 2002, according to Reuters. Prime Minister Jose Socrates was then environment minister. Socrates has repeatedly denied media reports he misused his position in any way then and accused the media of a smear campaign in an election year.