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Former Portuguese PM remanded in custody

IANS 26 Nov 2014, 6:36:20 AM IST

Lisbon: Former Portuguese prime minister Jose Socrates has been remanded in custody on suspicion of corruption, tax fraud and money laundering, media reported on Tuesday.

The former Socialist Party leader who headed Portugal government between 2005 and 2011, was taken to one of the prisons at Evora, 120 km from Lisbon, the media reports claimed.

Akthough Socrates' presence there has not been confirmed, several people gathered outside the prison gates possibly hoping to catch a glimpse of the former prime minister.

Under Portuguese law, the veteran Socialist politician could be kept in custody until March 2018, since the Penal Code allows a maximum of 40 months detention in cases of exceptional complexity, such as the one in which Socrates is allegedly involved.

The former prime minister was detained last Friday on his return from Paris and had already spent three nights in a police holding cell by order of investigating magistrate Carlos Alexandre.

Late Monday, the judge ordered Socrates' preventitive detntion until all pending legal measures are completed.

Three people close to Socrates, including businessman Carlos Santos Silva, chauffeur Joao Perna and attorney Gustavo Mendes were also arrested along with him.