Tancos report points to "serious failures" in security but denies "political interference" – The Economic Journal


The preliminary report of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the political consequences and liabilities of the theft of military equipment in Tancos was handed over today to the coordinators of each parliamentary group sitting in committee and is being presented by the rapporteur, Mr Ricardo Bexiga, PS . In the conclusions of the report are pointed out "serious failures" in the security and maintenance of the military base of Tancos, allowing the theft of military equipment.

"There has been a breach of fundamental safety rules," says Bexiga, adding that "the risk has not been adequately assessed by military structures." At the beginning of his remarks, he stressed that "we do not want to replace judicial organs", but he did not fail to conclude that the theft of military equipment counted on "internal collaboration", inasmuch as "it would not have happened if patrolling had been made according to the established norms ".

With a total of 170 pages, the preliminary report was delivered to the coordinators of the parliamentary groups about half an hour before the start of the meeting that is taking place since 2.30 pm. At the opening of the meeting, however, José Matos Rosa, PSD deputy and vice-chair of the committee, regretted that he had not yet received a copy of it. The report includes 35 recommendations, with emphasis on the revision of the Organic Law of the Military Judicial Police (PJM), as well as changes in the appointment of the national director of PJM.

As for the conclusions, in addition to those already mentioned by the rapporteur in his presentation, it was found that "at no moment was there any political interference in the Army's action or in the PJM's activity". In point seven of the conclusions, entitled "government responsibilities", the report states that "the Ministry of National Defense made a full report on the evolution of the situation in due course", reflected in the document "Facts and Documents".

According to the preliminary report, the commission of inquiry "found that at no time was there any political interference in the Army's action or in the activity of the PJM" and that the prime minister "had no prior knowledge of any other information about the finding of the stolen material, beyond what was known to the various organs of sovereignty. "

That argument was immediately contested by Berta Cabral, MP and coordinator of the PSD parliamentary group in the committee of inquiry. "We have many difficulties in realizing that the prime minister did not know and that the minister of the Defense had not communicated to him," said Cabral, referring to the former National Defense Minister, José Azeredo Lopes, who resigned in October 2018 following further revelations about the Tancos case.



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