Fernando Medina reacted to the news on TVI that reported that he will be accused in the case of the alleged violation of public procurement rules as mayor of Lisbon, reiterating the denial of any involvement in this type of practices.
“I am not aware of any allegations which, if any, are completely false”, he guaranteed in a statement sent to newsrooms by the Ministry of Finance.
PÚBLICO found out from a source close to the Minister of Finance that Fernando Medina has not yet been constituted as an arguido in the process and that any information that points in this direction is unknown to the government.
This evening, TVI reported that Medina would be accused after the historic socialist mayor Joaquim Morão implicated him in a scheme of violation of public procurement rules while leading the Lisbon municipality, a process that has already led to searches being carried out in the capital’s chamber and the constitution of defendants: “three companies and their legal representatives”, as the Attorney General’s Office stated in writing in a email sent in the last month of January to the PUBLIC.
The television station said that Morão denounced to the Judiciary Police a scheme that consisted of a “simulated sounding out” of companies owned by a friend of his and in which Medina allegedly supported the process.
At issue is a process first denounced by PÚBLICO in 2018 and which involved being hired by the Lisbon Chamber, between 2015 and 2017, when Medina was already president of the municipality, of the PS history consultancy services Joaquim Morão, at the time known as mayor model, who chaired the councils of Idanha-a-Nova and Castelo Branco.
Invitations were then made to three societies, one belonging to Morão and the other two to a friend of his, António Realinho. Fernando Medina would end up appointing Morão to oversee the “management of public works” in the municipality when the market consultation opened by the municipality was still under way and the responses from the other two companies invited for the service in question had not arrived.
When, on the 18th of January, the Lisbon Chamber was the target of searches regarding an inquiry into this case, which in addition to Medina also involves its then councilor for Urbanism, Manuel Salgado, the socialist ruler called the journalists to the Ministry of Finance to ensure that he has no knowledge of the investigation and to make himself available to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to provide the necessary clarifications.
After initially referring the responsibility for hiring Joaquim Morão to the services of the chamber, “in compliance with the applicable rules”, the minister would assume responsibility for the choice: “I chose him”, he assured, reporting to a order that he signed on June 5, 2015.
In reaction to the news on TVI, Rui Rocha, president of the Liberal Initiative, argues that “Medina was unable to enter the Government after the scandal of Russian activists”.
“It was even more fragile with the Sérgio Figueiredo and TAP/Alexandra Reis cases. And he cannot continue in government to confirm what is revealed by TVI”, wrote the liberal leader on Twitter.