The Judicial Police arrested a man this morning in Lisbon on suspicion of trying to extort the President of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The man, who is between 40 and 50 years old, was in his house when he was arrested by agents of the National Counterterrorism Unit of the Judicial Police, who rules out that there is an organization behind it. The detainee has also been accused of aggravated coercion and possession of weapons, according to the police statement.
The man’s record includes previous confiscations of weapons and explosives, as well as arrests and prison stays. This violent record is what made the authorities take seriously the threats he allegedly directed at the Portuguese head of state last October. Rebelo de Sousa then received a letter with a bullet, a mobile phone and an ultimatum for him to pay one million euros in a bank account to avoid death.
The Portuguese president is a very accessible public office, who moves with a discreet security apparatus and who enjoys mass baths, which would make him an easy target. Rebelo de Sousa minimized the threats shortly after receiving them and recalled that he had received more pressure when he participated in television programs. The detainee will pass this Wednesday at the disposal of a judge of the Central Criminal Investigation Court.
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