LISBON (Reuters) – Armando Pereira, the co-founder of Altice Communications Group, said his client, who was questioned by a judge on Thursday over allegations of corruption at the group’s Portuguese branch, denied any wrongdoing.
Armando Pereira was arrested last week as part of an investigation into allegations of corruption, tax fraud and money laundering in Altice Portugal.
Police said the investigation focuses on suspected fraud in the group’s procurement procedures.
The investigation has already forced Altice International’s co-general director, Alexandre Fonseca, who is also head of the Portuguese and US subsidiaries, to suspend all his duties on Monday, and the group has also suspended several executives, employees and legal representatives in Portugal and Italy. in another place.
Armando Pereira is currently being questioned by the judge and prosecutors, according to Manuel Magalhães e Silva. When asked about his client’s innocence, the lawyer replied that it was “complete for all the facts charged in the proceedings.”
Manuel Magalhães e Silva said the prosecution’s suspicions about Armando Pereira “are not true, they are a set of assumptions.”
He added that Armando Pereira “answered in a completely clear and convincing manner the various questions asked,” adding that he hoped the leader would be released.
According to local media, the investigation relates to the sale of a number of buildings in Lisbon when Alexandre Fonseca was CEO of Altice Portugal, between November 2017 and April 2022, which would have deprived the company of hundreds of millions of euros.
Altice Group said on Thursday that the managing director of the Portuguese subsidiary, Ana Figueredo, would take over as president, replacing Alexandre Fonseca with immediate effect, and that Altice Portugal was providing “all the cooperation requested by the Portuguese authorities.”
(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves, French version by Corentin Chapron, Editing by Kate Entringer)