The former Attorney General of the Republic, Joana Marques Vidal, today refused to confirm whether or not she spoke to former Defense Minister Azeredo Lopes about the role of PJ Militar in the case of Tancos, noting that she will do so in her own instances.
"I will not confirm or deny what a witness has provided or will have provided in the course of an investigation that is under investigation and that it is a secret of justice. I am ready to clarify in the proper place, when they want to summon the entities with competence for such, "declared Joana Marques Vidal, at the entrance to a lunch in her honor, organized in Lisbon by the Bar Association.
The former prosecutor was talking about an investigation carried out on Friday night by RTP, which reported that Marques Vidal had called Azeredo Lopes, a day after the appearance of the stolen weapons in Tancos. In this call, the then Attorney General would have expressed displeasure that PJ Militar continued to investigate the case, at a time when the investigation had already passed to the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Police.
On the other hand, the weekly Expresso reported today that Minister Azeredo Lopes "knew the contents of the memorandum of Tancos," but "did not perceive the existence of a cover-up and did not attach importance to the document." Both the Prime Minister, António Costa, and the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, denied on Friday that they were aware of the memorandum.
The prime minister said on Friday that he did not know the memorandum on the theft of military equipment from the Tancos warehouses, "neither through Azeredo Lopes nor through anyone." "Neither through Azeredo Lopes nor through anyone. I did not know, "said António Costa, in Sintra, who was questioned by journalists if he was informed by the former National Defense Minister of the memorandum on the reappearance of stolen military material in Tancos.
The President of the Republic insisted that the case of Tancos "can not be forgotten or can be minimized", affirming "the annoying custom", which does not give up claiming the need to establish the facts. "I was the usual annoyance, for a very simple reason: because I am supreme commander of the Armed Forces and President of the Republic and there was not only the citizen Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. It is someone who is responsible and who thinks that it can not be forgotten or can be minimized [o sucedido em Tancos]"Said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
On Friday Parliament adopted by a large majority a committee of inquiry into arms theft in the Tancos warehouses, with the CFP and ENP abstaining. The armed robbery of the Tancos warehouses was reported on June 29, 2017, and, four months later, part of the weapons was recovered. In September, the Public Prosecutor's investigation into the recovery of the stolen material, called Operation Húbris, led to the arrest for interrogation of PJM and GNR military personnel.
At the same time, an operation was staged and covered up in the operation, allegedly organized by members of the PJM, who reported it to the chief of staff of the Defense Ministry. On October 12, Azeredo Lopes resigned and was replaced by João Gomes Cravinho. Last week, the Army Chief of Staff, General Rovisco Duarte, also resigned and his place was occupied by General José Nunes da Fonseca.