Magistrate considers major corruption trial in Portugal

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A Portuguese magistrate is deciding whether there is enough evidence to put a former prime minister and two dozen other once-powerful figures on trial for corruption, money laundering and other crimes.

Magistrate Ivo Rosa on Monday began hearing legal arguments from the public prosecutor and defense attorneys in one of the biggest cases in recent times in Portugal.

Jose Socrates, who was the country’s Socialist prime minister from 2005 to 2011, is accused of pocketing 34 million euros ($39 million) through top-level corruption.

Other suspects include a former government minister, the one-time head of Portugal’s largest listed bank, which went bankrupt, and Portugal Telecom’s former president and its former chairman of the board.

A decision on whether to proceed to trial is expected before the end of the year.

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