PSD minister “calm” after police swoop on Cascais Council

 In Corruption, Justice, News

Portugal’s new Minister for Housing, Miguel Pinto Luz, says he is “completely calm” after police searches at Cascais Town Hall where he had been deputy mayor.

Pinto Luz said had been in public life for 20 years and was “used to such scrutiny” calling it “healthy.
The police search on April 10 was related to a factory that produced surgical masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office has intimated that crimes of passive and active corruption, prevarication and abuse of power could be at stake.
Cascais Mayor Carlos Carreiras has said he was not surprised by the searches: they stemmed from a report drawn up by the Court of Auditors following inspections of the factory.
He also said that Cascais City council had contested the report because it considered that “there were no irregularities”.
He also revealed that, in addition to the town hall, the PJ has been searching computer resources in the São José Building – where the municipality’s Urban Planning services operate — in Cascais Centre and in the municipal company that managed the communication process related to the masks.
In June 2020, Cascais launched its own production of personal protective surgical masks for the population, using equipment from China, which also supplies other municipalities.
On Wednesday, PJ police also collected documents from the PSD headquarters in Lisbon as part of a case related to the party’s presidential campaign, which also includes the municipal company Cascais Próxima.
According to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, there are no defendants in this case and the investigation is being held in secret.