It’s confirmed. Prime Minister António Costa has just announced, in a press conference, his resignation, after it became known that he is the target of an independent investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in an inquiry opened at the Supreme Court of Justice, regarding the lithium and petroleum business. green hydrogen.
“Over these almost eight years that I have served as Prime Minister, I have dedicated my heart and soul to serving Portugal and the Portuguese. I was willing to dedicate myself with all my energy to fulfilling the mandate that the Portuguese entrusted to me until the end of this legislature”, he began by stating, adding that he was surprised by the information that criminal proceedings would be opened against him.
“I am fully available to collaborate with the courts to determine the truth on any matter. I want to tell the Portuguese people face to face that the practice of any illegal act does not weigh on my conscience”, I continue.
However, he stated that the position of prime minister is not compatible with the suspicions that now fall on him.
“In this circumstance, I have submitted my resignation”, he announced.
It should be remembered that, “during the course of the investigations, furthermore, knowledge emerged of the suspects invoking the name and authority of the Prime Minister and his intervention to unblock procedures in the aforementioned context. Such references will be independently analyzed within the scope of an investigation opened at the Supreme Court of Justice, as this is the competent forum”, announced the Attorney General’s Office.
The controversy was advanced by the Público newspaper, which reported this morning on the PSP’s searches in several ministries and in the Prime Minister’s official residence, in São Bento, which took the head of Government to the Belém Palace twice, for meetings with the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The same newspaper said that António Costa’s chief of staff, Vítor Escária, Costa’s consultant and close friend, Diogo Lacerda Machado, and the mayor of Sines, the socialist Nuno Mascarenhas, as well as two company executives, have already been arrested. .
The Minister of the Environment, Duarte Cordeiro, and the Minister of Infrastructure, João Galamba, as well as the former Minister of the Environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, are being searched and defendants will be accused.
It should be noted that this is the first time that there have been judicial searches at the prime minister’s official residence. The searches targeted Vítor Escária, António Costa’s chief of staff.