Manuel Pinho bail set at €6 million

 In Justice, News

A former Portuguese minister for the Economy between 2005 and 2011, Manuel Pinho, has had to stump up one of the highest bails ever demanded by Portuguese justice — €6 million.

It is believed to be the highest bail set for a once high-ranking government official or business personality in Portugal.
The ex-minister for the Economy is accused of receiving bribes from the now defunct Grupo Espírito Santo banking group when he was in office.
It was even higher than the previous bail records set in modern Portuguese history: for two media sensation defendants – the colourful ex-Benfica football president, Luís Filipe Vieira, and the eccentric Madeiran-born modern art collecting tycoon, Joe Berardo. (they forked out €3 million and €5 million respectively)
The lawyer representing Manuel Pinho, Ricardo Sá Fernandes, has already said that his client can’t raise that kind of money, so the defendant will remain detained at his home with an electronic bracelet. Both measures (bail or detention) may not be applied at the same time under the rules of Portuguese law.
Other big bail demands were set in the past for banker Ricardo Oliveira, from the BPN case: €5 million. Yet surprisingly, the biggest fish of them all, BES banker Ricardo Salgado was awarded the relatively cheaper bail of €3 million even though he did once say, referring to the banking group (he has always denied this) that he “owned the whole lot”.
Manuel Pinho’s wife, Alexandra, has been set bail of €1 million. She once worked for the Banco Espírito Santo where she was the curator between 2004 and 2009 of the now defunct bank’s art collection. She is now suspected of corruption and money laundering.
Former EDP CEOs António Mexia and João Manso Neto were each served with bail payments of €1 million as part of the EDP contract fixing case, but have already got their bail back.
Manuel Pinho knew he was facing arrest on Tuesday for his alleged part in the EDP contracts scandal. He sold various properties he had in Portugal and also cancelled bank accounts.
When frisked by the Portuguese judicial police, the ex-minister has nothing on him: no cash, credit cards or documents.
The minister now has few ties in Portugal. Instead he has an apartment in New York and a house in Alicante, Spain. The university lecturing economist has not resided in Portugal for years.
The foundation of the case that led to the detention of Manuel Pinho is the offshore company Tartaruga Foundation through which he received around €15,000 per month from Grupo Espírito Santo while he was a minister for the José Sócrates government between 2005 and 2009.