Judge blocks Public Ministry access to EDP bank data

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A judge has ordered that bank and tax information on EDP top brass António Mexia and João Manso Neto should not be taken into consideration in a Public Ministry investigation until the case goes to court.

The criminal justice judge Ivo Rosa has ruled that demands for the personal bank and tax details of the energy giant EDP and EDP Renewables CEOs are “irregular”.

The Public Ministry had requested the information from the Portuguese tax authorities and the Bank of Portugal. 

The decision arose after defence lawyers for the two administrators, who are facing criminal charges over the ‘Operation Marquês’ and ‘Banco Espírito Santo cases, requested that the order to add e-mails to the case files, which are of interest to the EDP investigation, be discounted until such a time as the legal defendants face trial. 

The Public Ministry dispatch states, “The procurators request that the judges in the “Operation Marquês and BES cases authorise searches on the e-mail boxes of BES staff and administrators, in particular, the ex-minister of the Economy Manuel Pinho and his secretary Maria de Jesus Ribeiro.”

The investigation into EDP is being carried out at the Portuguese criminal investigation department (DCIAP) which is investigating procedures regarding the introduction of Costs for Maintaining Contractual Harmony (CMEC) in the national electricity sector which has made consumer electricity charges in Portugal among the highest in Europe.

On 18 May, Judge Ivo Rosa said the corruption case charges against legal defendant Manuel Pinho in the EDP case had been dropped because of an irregularity.