Prosecutors investigating alleged irregularities in lithium and “green” hydrogen deals today searched government buildings, including the prime minister’s official residence – At least five people detained
Portuguese prosecutors officially named today the Minister of Infrastructure João Galamba as a suspect in the ongoing investigation into alleged irregularities in lithium and hydrogen programs, according to a statement issued by the attorney general’s office.
The prosecutors, who conduct investigation into alleged illegalities in lithium deals and “green” hydrogen, government buildings were searched today, officials announced, while local media reported the arrest of two people close to the prime minister.
The newspaper Publico reported that at least five people were taken into custody, including Vito Escaria, chief of staff to Prime Minister Antonio Costa, and business adviser Diogo Lacerda Machado, who is a friend of Costa’s.
The prime minister’s office confirmed that investigations are underway at Escaria’s offices, but declined to comment further. Machado has yet to comment publicly.
The Portuguese PSP police had announced that their officers are on the scene and are helping with the investigations.
Prosecutors had confirmed in January this year that an investigation into the lithium and hydrogen programs was underway, but had not named any suspects.
According to local media, investigators raided government buildings today, including her official residence of the prime minister, of the Ministry of the Environment and the residence of the Minister of Infrastructure João Galamba.
Galaba’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Environment Ministry confirmed to Reuters the investigations and made it known that today’s program of Minister Duarte Cordeiro has been cancelled.
The mayor of the city of Sines, Nuño Mascarenias, was taken into custody, according to Publico, as were two businessmen. There are investment plans for the construction of hydrogen plants in Sines.
The SIC Noticias network reported that Costa met this morning with president Marcelo Rebelo de Souza to explain.
Costa’s and the president’s offices did not comment on the meeting.
With a wealth of experience honed over 4+ years in journalism, I bring a seasoned voice to the world of news. Currently, I work as a freelance writer and editor, always seeking new opportunities to tell compelling stories in the field of world news.