The Public Prosecution Office (MP) has impounded 40 properties owned by or linked to former Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) director Jaime Carion, his wife and a daughter, the Portuguese-language channel of government-owned TDM has reported.
According to the Friday report, which did not say how Rádio Macau obtained the information, most of the properties are not held in Carion’s name.
The report points out that the properties include flats, parking spaces and shops in the name of Carion, his wife and a daughter. The real-estate assets were bought between 1995 and 2016, according to the report.
The report said that two of the seized flats were held in the name of Carion, while two flats and an office were held in the name of his wife. The TDM report did not mention the names of Carion’s wife and daughter allegedly involved in the case.
The report said that Carion and his wife are married in community of property, according to the senior civil servant’s income declaration before his retirement.
In the declaration, Carion stated that he’s the owner of four flats, the report said.
The report also said that a flat and two parking spaces owned by his daughter were also seized by the Public Prosecution Office.
According to the report, the impounded property also includes a warehouse, an office and a commercial unit owned by a company in which Carion’s daughter is a shareholder and director.
That company has another shareholder whose real-estate assets as well as those of her husband have also been seized, involving a total of 26 properties including buildings, industrial units, shops, parking spaces, and a plot of land.
Rádio Macau said that the property seizures were officially registered in April.
The report cites a notice by the Administrative Court of December 17, 2017, according to which Carion’s whereabouts at that time were unknown.
Carion left his post as DSSOPT director in November 2014 when he retired from public service.
At that time Macau’s then secretary for transport and public works Lau Si Io praised Carion for his professionalism and leadership capacities, saying that he had “always acted with devotion and responsibility,” the TDM report pointed out.
Meanwhile, on Saturday the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) replied to local media queries about the case with a short statement: “Regarding the news report released yesterday [Friday] about the seizure of assets of the former director of the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau and his family members by a judicial agency, the CCAC has received multiple enquiries from the media. Taking into account the nature of criminal investigation and the statutory work procedure, there is no information to be released by the CCAC for the time being.”
In its statement, the anti-graft body pledged that it “will continue to make all-out efforts to combat various crimes of corruption and to be dedicated to building a fair and graft-free society.”
On Saturday, when asked by reporters on the sidelines of an event at Federal Restaurant in Zape, Public Prosecutor-General Ip Son Sang declined to disclose any information on the case, while confirming that the reported seizure of property involves a criminal case.
Ip spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a one-day seminar on legal cooperation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) organised by the Macau Legal Promotion Association (APJM). Ip said that as the case involved a criminal case which was still under investigation, adding that the Public Prosecution Office could not disclose further information to the media, based on the relevant rules in the Penal Procedures Code.
Ip said, “The report [by the Portuguese radio channel of TDM] mentioned that the Public Prosecution Office has seized some properties of the person involved. The [seizure of property] does indeed involve a criminal case, which is still under investigation. According to the Penal Procedures Code, concerning the case reported by the media, the Public Prosecution Office does not have any specific information to be disclosed to the media for the time being.”
When asked by a reporter what case was involved, Ip said, “I think that right now I have to stick to the principle that it is not suitable to disclose any further information for the time being. I request the media to understand it as the law [Penal Procedures Code] requires us [not to disclose any information on an ongoing investigation].”
When asked by the media to confirm whether it is Carion who is involved in the case, Ip said, “I think I cannot answer this question at the moment.”
When asked whether Carion is currently in Macau or not, Ip said, “I believe the media knows more [than me] about the matter,” adding that “concerning the seizure of property reported by the media and the criminal case, today I ask the media to understand that for the time being I cannot disclose further information.”
When asked by the media why the Public Prosecution Office previously chose to reveal information on some cases that were still under investigation and what are the criteria for the office to decide which cases are to be disclosed to the public, Ip said that the Public Prosecution Office indeed chooses to reveal some information about some cases to the public after striking the right balance between ensuring the human rights and privacy rights of the person involved in a particular case and the public’s right to know, in line with the Penal Procedures Code.
Ip added that the Public Prosecution Office normally reveals to the public certain information about cases that have caused a certain impact on public security or public order. Ip added that according to the Penal Procedures Code, the different phases of the investigative process of a particular case correspond to different levels of the public’s right to know, with the aim of ensuring that the ongoing investigation of the case can be smoothly carried out and ensuring that the person involved in the case and civil society will not be adversely impacted.
Ip noted that full information about every criminal case will be made public after the Public Prosecution Office has transferred the case to the court and the judge has scheduled a date for its trial.(Macaunews)