The former mayor of Barcelos, Miguel Costa Gomes, former councilors and employees, were accused of crimes of malfeasance by holders of political offices and abuse of power, in a case of direct adjustments to the same private security company.
The Public Ministry (MP) asks that they be inhibited from exercising public functions and the return to the State of about 450 thousand euros, which it says was obtained illicitly. The defendants asked for the opening of the investigation and begin this Wednesday to contest the accusation at the Criminal Investigation Court of Braga.
At stake is the alleged favoring of the private security company GProtect, from Barcelos, which the MP refers to have been created exclusively for direct adjustments, distorting free competition, in collusion with the former president, Miguel Costa Gomes, of the then and current vice-president, Domingos Pereira, ex-majority councilors Maria Armandina Saleiro and Alexandre Maciel, deputy presidency Vasco Real (nephew of the ex-president) and employees Cláudia Domingues, José Sousa, Augusto Castro and Sandra Teixeira. Gonçalo Cardoso, Ana Queirós, Jesus Cardoso and Marcos Lima, from the security firm, are also defendants.
Based on investigations by the Braga Judicial Police, the MP maintains that the alleged favoritism is based on the friendship between Miguel Costa Gomes and Gonçalo Cardoso, since the latter, as a guard, provided security at the premises of the Commercial and Industrial Association of Barcelos. Since 2010, the provision of services to GProtect has been awarded, allegedly in contravention of the Public Contracts Code, with various artifices and extending it beyond the legal limits.
In all, 28 simplified direct adjustments were carried out on behalf of the Barcelos City Council and the Municipal Education and Culture Company, through its School of Technology and Management (ETG), totaling 450 thousand euros, divided into installments of 75 thousand euros. In between, proponents of security services appeared and invited to present proposals that were not even legally qualified to carry out surveillance. One of the proponents of security services to the city council was a GNR soldier serving in the Security and State Honors Unit, in Lisbon, which is why he was subject to a disciplinary process.