“I do not admit business with public goods”

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The former regional secretary of Natural Resources, Manuel António Correia, assured, this morning, in the Funchal court, that he was unaware that Coopescamadeira and businessmen Justino Ferreira and Katsuni Ono were selling fishing licenses to Asian shipowners and that he would never admit granting such rights if had any doubt as to the legality of the procedure. “I would not admit these licenses because I do not admit business with public goods”, said the former ruler, at the beginning of a trial in which he is accused of a crime of malfeasance and a crime of abuse of power, due to the attribution of fishing licenses Japanese and Chinese shipowners in the years 2005 and 2006.

“I was only motivated by the public interest”, stressed Manuel António Correia before the panel of judges chaired by Teresa de Sousa, explaining that his order for issuing fishing licenses aimed at maintaining the level of tuna catches, since the Region and the country ran the risk of losing to quotas authorized by international organizations.

The trial continues this afternoon, at 2:30 pm, at the Central Criminal Court of Funchal (Building 2000).



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