EDP case: António Mexia and Manso Neto suspended by the Portuguese justice

  • ECO News
  • 6 July 2020

Portugal's justice decided to suspend António Mexia and João Manso Neto from their duties. A coercive measure proposed by the Public Prosecutor in the EDP case.

The Portuguese Judge Carlos Alexandre has suspended António Mexia, chairman of EDP, and João Manso Neto, chairman of EDP Renováveis, in the EDP case, which had been proposed by the Public Prosecutor. Among the coercive measures is also the prohibition of contact with defendants by any means.

The suspension of Mexia e Manso Neto has immediate effects because even if there is an appeal of the coercive measures it does not have a suspensive effect, according to what a source linked to the process explained to ECO.

The ruling also implies that Mexia is prevented from holding any management/administration position in EDP Group companies, or controlled by them, in Portugal or abroad, must hand over his passport and is prohibited from travelling abroad and from entering all EDP buildings.

Antonio Mexia’s defence found the coercive measures proposed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office to be “illegal”, arguing that the request for aggravation of the coercive measures relates to facts that weren’t new, since they were public as early as 2018, and there is no further evidence to support the review.

The team of lawyers, led by VdA partner João Medeiros, also considered the suspension of private managers to be illegal, since the removal of a manager from a 100% private company can only be defined by its shareholders.

And accuses the Public Prosecutor of acting “shamelessly in petitioning for a flagrantly illegal coercive measure, such as, in this case, and in the current circumstances, the suspension of functions, since none of the Applicants assumes the necessary quality for this purpose (first of all, they are not civil servants, nor administrators of a utility company).”

EDP’s excessive rents case has been under investigation at the Central Investigation and Penal Action Department for about eight years and has five defendants: António Mexia, João Manso Neto, chairman of EDP Renováveis, the former minister Manuel Pinho, the director of REN and former consultant to Pinho, João Faria Conceição, and Pedro Furtado, responsible for regulation at the energy networks management company.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office charges the defendants António Mexia and Manso Neto, in co-authorship, with four crimes of active corruption and one of economic participation in business. T