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Debate Emerges Over Interest Registration for Spies | PORTUGAL

The controversy surrounding Mozart and Jorge Silva Carvalho has sparked a discussion about the need for an interest registration, recalls Jorge Bacelar Gouveia, former member of the Council of Oversight of the Secret Services and current president of Oscot – an observatory for security, organized crime, and terrorism, an organization with several Freemasons in its leadership. Bacelar Gouveia, who is not a Freemason himself, believes that the fact that some intelligence service officials are Freemasons doesn't interfere with their role as heads of the secret services.


However, Teresa Leal Coelho disagrees. "It is absolutely regrettable in a democratic rule of law that they join Masonic lodges with the aim of being protected in their careers.


These are not Masonic connections of values, but rather connections to personal interests. These connections constitute true cryptic powers that undermine democracy, transparency, public interest, and meritocracy."


The former parliament member assures that there is a way to end this scenario, as long as the political power wants to enforce the law, considering that spies are now required to disclose their interests.


"The reforms of the framework law for the Republic's Secret Services and the Organic Law, as well as the State Secrecy Law, were made following a series of incidents that exposed irregularities in the system," she recalls, explaining that "the objectives of these reforms focused on the need to ensure greater confidence and credibility in the system," including, among other aspects, "ensuring more transparency regarding the profile of the directors of the services whose identity is known."


Therefore, she recalls, the requirement for prior hearing in Parliamentary Committees and interest registration was introduced.


According to Teresa Leal Coelho, the "interest registration of SIRP, as well as the members of the Oversight Council, should be public, deposited with the AR," and the "interest registration of the directors is deposited with SIRP."


In other words, according to the social democrat, secret service members are covered by the rule that requires holders of public office to declare membership in secret associations.


"This was one of the changes introduced in the Services Framework Law in 2014. Employees are required to register interests, as mentioned in Article 33 c," she says, alerting: "Now, whether they do it or not, only the service directors and members of the Oversight Council can confirm."


According to Teresa Leal Coelho, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms, and Guarantees also has that power.


Conferences with Prominent Politicians Meanwhile, the Lodge led by the head of the secret services continues to organize debates bringing together businesspeople, politicians, military personnel, judges, and secret service members.


For many years, Neiva da Cruz's Lodge has been organizing conferences and meetings in GOL with some of the nation's most prominent politicians. It was the Europa Jean Monet Lodge that brought figures like António Mexia, António Vitorino, Hernâni Lopes, or Ãngelo Correia to speak at GOL.


Lately, among the guests of the Europa Jean Monet Lodge for events and conferences at GOL or outside the Palace, many Freemasons from other lodges have participated, including socialist Álvaro Beleza, judge Eurico Reis, and Jorge Seguro Sanches – the PS deputy who left the parliamentary inquiry committee into TAP, where currently his 'brother' Neiva da Cruz and the services he directs are under scrutiny.

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