The Prime Minister, António Costa, on Monday again refused to reveal whether and when he had asked the President of the Republic to summon the Attorney General of the Republic to the Palace of Belém, recalling that there is a “duty of secrecy” in the Council. of state.
Speaking to journalists at a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the founding of the PS, in the German city of Bad Münstereifel, the party’s secretary general asked about the revelation, by State Councilor António Lobo Xavier, where he was going left the PS. The Council of State said that the Prime Minister said that he himself asked Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to summon the Attorney General to the Palace of Belém regarding the investigation into “Operation Influencer”, he emphasized that he had “no public conversation” had with Lobo Xavier.
“It does not occur to me that I have had a public conversation with Dr. Lobo Xavier. I remember speaking with Dr. Lobo Xavier, privately or in institutions where we both participate, and where the obligation of confidentiality applies everyone prevails.”he declared.
“As is known, and I have already had the opportunity to explain once, in connection with another meeting of the Council of State, the law even fixes the date from which what will and will not be said in the Council of State State and the respective dates and therefore it is a matter of waiting. I believe it’s around 2053, so let’s be patient.”, he said. “Annoying patients,” he added.
Faced with pressure from journalists as to why he did not reveal if and when he asked the head of state to call the prosecutor to Belém, António Costa once again stressed the importance of confidentiality, whether it concerns “conversations between two people, which by definition are between two people or, even more clearly, in bodies “where, according to the terms of the law, everyone is bound to secrecy”.
“The law is so concerned about this confidentiality that it is even said that it will not be possible to make the minutes public until thirty years after the term of office of the President of the Republic”he noted, adding that, “so it’s not even 2053, it’s later” that the minutes of the State Council of November 9 may be revealed, and that it is necessary to “follow the rules.”
“But don’t worry about that, have the time, then the minutes will be known”he concluded.
Last Saturday, António Costa had already stated that he could not remember having spoken publicly about who called the Attorney General of the Republic to the Palace of Belém and emphasized that he never passes on conversations with the President of the Republic with using heteronyms, this after Marcelo Rebelo. de Sousa had revealed in Bissau on Friday that it was the Prime Minister who asked him to call Lucília Gago to the Palácio de Belém so that she could explain the process involving the still leader of the executive.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa made this point after pointing out that this request had already been publicly mentioned by the Prime Minister, but António Costa insists that he has never spoken publicly about the matter.