Portugal’s new Attorney General vows to fight corruption

attorney general fight corruption Portugal's new Attorney General, Lucília Gago. JOSÉ SENA GOULÃO/LUSA

Portugal’s new Attorney General, Lucília Gago, promises that the fight against corruption will be the priority of her mandate.

attorney general fight corruption
Attorney General Lucília Gago. Image source Publico

Gago’s vow to fight corruption was given at the inauguration on Friday afternoon at the Palácio de Belém, where she emphasized the need to “provide the necessary human and technical resources.”

“I choose as one of the main priorities of my mandate – the fight against economic and financial crime, with a particular focus on corruption, which has become one of the biggest scourges that can shake the foundations of the State and erode the confidence of citizens in the democratic regime,” said the newly-appointed Attorney General of the Republic (PGR).

attorney general fight corruption
Prime Minister Antonio Costa

Gago was the “first choice and first acceptance,” according to Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, who alluded that the future of the Attorney General’s Office should be a testimony to ensure a “long and unique” mandate.

Gago’s anti-corruption pledge connected with Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa’s speech, which called for a priority to be given to combating corruption and to do it “without fears, hesitations or ambiguities.”

attorney general fight corruption
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

With the approval of the president, the new owner of the criminal investigation took office today, at 15:00, starting a term for the next six years.

Costa announced that the position of Attorney General will once again be passed on to a woman: the second to occupy the highest position of the ministry in Portuguese history.

Gago replaces outgoing Attorney General Joana Marques Vidal, who served from 2012-2018 and was the first female Attorney General in Portugal’s history.

Gago has a career of almost 40 years in the magistracy and prosecution, being considered the right arm of her predecessor.

Known for her “fiber” and “discretion,” as some of her peers have described her, the Gago was director of the Department of Criminal Investigation and Action (DIAP) of Lisbon, between January 2016 and 2017, by personal choice of Marques Vidal.

attorney general fight corruption
Joana Marques Vidal

More recently, Gago founded the national coordination office of prosecutors in the Family, Children and Youth area at the Attorney General’s Office, for which she had been responsible to date.

Between 2014 and 2015, she coordinated the legislative commission created to review the adoption law, dating from 1993, at the invitation of the then Minister of Social Security, Luís Pedro Mota Soares (CDS).

Gago was also a teacher at the Center for Judicial Studies, until 2016, and was at the forefront of the Family Law Department, her specialty. She was also at the Court of Appeals of Lisbon, investigating cases such as the phantom travel of deputies, and the Court of Family and Minors.

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