Altice scandal suspect demands full ‘clarification’ of facts

  • Lusa
  • 18 July 2023

"As I am completely unaware of what has been publicly reported in the context of the ongoing process, I will demand the clarification of all facts and protect my integrity", said Alexandre Fonseca.

Alexandre Fonseca, who suspended his duties at the Altice group in the context of the ‘Picoas operation’, says he is “completely unaware of what has been publicly reported” and that he will demand “clarification of all facts”.

This position was published on LinkedIn, after the Altice group announced on Monday that the manager, who is co-CEO (co-executive chairman) of Altice Europe and chairman of Altice Portugal and Altice USA (since March), had suspended his duties in the context of the group’s executive and non-executive management activities in several parts of the world.

“In the context of the recent news about the Altice group, I decided to suspend my functions as co-CEO of the Altice group, as well as chairman of different operations of the group in several geographies. I have never abdicated, nor will I abdicate, from facing adversity with the necessary objectivity and firmness, as I believe that this is the only way to make sense”, Alexandre Fonseca said, who was executive chairman of Meo’s owner until March 2022.

“With this decision, I intend to unequivocally protect the Altice group and all its brands in all geographies worldwide from a process that is public where, apparently, acts to be investigated occurred during the period in which I served as executive chairman of Altice Portugal”, he continued.

Alexandre Fonseca emphasised that “the current context requires firm and concrete responses”, which is why he did not hesitate “to face the current moment with the high responsibility it demands”.

Now, “this attitude aims to contribute to the full clarification of the truth, through my total availability so that, as soon as possible, it is duly ascertained and restored”, he stressed, pointing out that “this is a decision that the Altice group has accepted and valued” because both understood “that it helps to safeguard the pursuit of Altice’s business activity and promotes the defence of the principles of transparency, truth and collaboration in establishing the facts”.

“I want to reiterate that, as I am completely unaware of what has been publicly reported in the context of the ongoing process, I will demand the clarification of all facts and protect my integrity, good name and my publicly recognised and valued curriculum”, he said.

In conclusion, Fonseca quoted Martin Luther King, who said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

And he concluded that “I reiterate that I will not give up my full contribution and do my part because I am very proud of what I have built and developed in my personal, family and professional life, namely in Portugal and in the Altice group”.

The “Picoas operation”, launched on 13 July, led to three arrests, including that of Altice group co-founder Armando Pereira, and included about 90 home and non-home searches, including Altice Portugal’s headquarters in Lisbon, and company and office premises in various parts of the country, according to the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

This was a joint action by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Tax Authority.

At stake, allegedly, is a “vitiation of the Altice group’s decision-making process in terms of contracting, with practices harmful to the group’s own companies and to competition”, which point to private corruption in active and passive form.

The authorities consider that the State has been defrauded of a tax amount “in excess of €100 million”.