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Portugal court keeps ex-premier in prison

December 3, 2014

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s Supreme Court has rejected a legal bid to free former Prime Minister Jose Socrates from detention while the ex-leader fights accusations of corruption, money-laundering and tax fraud.

Police detained Socrates, who was Portugal’s center-left Socialist prime minister from 2005 to 2011, on Nov. 21. After an initial hearing, a Lisbon judge ordered him held in custody on preliminary charges while investigations continue.

The higher court dismissed Wednesday a petition for habeas corpus — a legal challenge which requires authorities to justify detention. The Supreme Court said there were no legal grounds for the petition.

Socrates faces a maximum sentence of 21 years if convicted. No trial date has been set.