These details were announced by António Costa, in a communication to the country from São Bento, in Lisbon, in response to journalists, after announcing that he had asked Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to resign from his position.

"No, I'm not going to run again for the position of Prime Minister, let that be very clear. It's clear that this is a stage of life that has ended, moreover, because as we all know, criminal cases are rarely quick processes and therefore, I would certainly not be waiting for the conclusion of the criminal process to reach its conclusion", stated the leader of the executive.

"I have given my resignation to the President of the Republic. This resignation was accepted. Perhaps the President of the Republic will want to consider the date from which my resignation takes effect. And, naturally, as is my constitutional, legal and civic duty, I will remain in office until I am replaced by whoever replaces me as Prime Minister", he said.

When asked about the system of relations between justice and politics, António Costa said that he had the opportunity to serve this sector “in different ways, as a lawyer, as a deputy, minister of Justice and Internal Administration and also as prime minister”.

“I am very proud that the essential body of legal instruments to combat economic and financial crime, corruption, and most crimes related to political office holders contributed as Minister of Justice so that this entire arsenal could exist and be at the service of the judicial system”, he maintained, before referring specifically to the PS.

“I am proud to be the leader of the party that contributed to designing our justice system and guaranteeing the independence and autonomy of the Public Ministry. I am very proud that, as Prime Minister – and as the [national] director of the Judiciary Police said just last week – the PJ has never had as many resources as it does now to combat corruption and economic and financial crime.”, he completed.

António Costa also said that, even at this juncture, he reiterates his idea that “one of the great qualities” of Portuguese democracy “is that citizens know that no one is above the law and that no one can interfere in the application of the law, be it a mayor, be a minister, be a prime minister”.

“If there is a suspicion, the judicial authorities are completely free to investigate. What I always understood as a great asset to our democracy, today I do not understand it to be a minus to our democracy. And my confidence in justice is as great today as it was in the past”, he emphasised.

In his responses to journalists, the Prime Minister made a point of emphasising that he, like any other citizen, is not above the law and, “therefore, if there is any suspicion, he is not above the law”.

“I'm here to fully collaborate, to investigate the whole truth and everything that the Supreme Court of Justice deems it should investigate on a matter that, in fact, I don't know what it is.” he noted.

He then emphasised again that, from his perspective, “it is incompatible with the exercise of the functions of Prime Minister the existence of suspicion” regarding his “integrity, good conduct and possible commission of a criminal act”.

“So, naturally, I handed in my resignation to the President of the Republic. This resignation has been accepted,” he added.

The Prime Minister is the target of an independent investigation by the Public Ministry in an inquiry opened at the Supreme Court of Justice, the Attorney General's Office (PGR) revealed today.

“In the course of the investigations, knowledge emerged of the suspects invoking the name and authority of the Prime Minister and of his intervention to unblock procedures in the aforementioned context. Such references will be independently analysed within the scope of an investigation opened at the Supreme Court of Justice, as this is the competent forum”, reads a note released today by the PGR.

This information comes following an investigation into lithium and green hydrogen businesses.

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