Daniel Litvak said, in a statement, that the investigations launched by the Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DIAP) of Lisbon and by the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN), regarding the attribution of Portuguese nationality to Roman Abramovich seem to him "positive" to "put a stop to groundless theories about Masonic trickery and unclear business myths involving suitcases of money."
The leader of the Jewish community in Porto said that "it will be confirmed that this is a process of nationality that complies with legal requirements and two payments of €250: the registration fee and the fee charged by the certifying community".
Daniel Litvak also pointed out that the full documentation of the certification process for the attribution of Portuguese nationality to Roman Abramovich "has been in the possession of the Lisbon Central Registry Office for a long time, based on the certifications of the highest international Jewish institutions".
The Attorney General's Office (PGR) has confirmed that the granting of Portuguese nationality to Russian businessman Roman Abramovich under the Nationality Law for Sephardic Jews is being investigated by the Public Ministry.
“The opening of an investigation related to the matter in question is confirmed. The same goes for the Lisbon Regional DIAP”, said an official source from the PGR.
The granting of Portuguese citizenship to the Russian billionaire, owner of the English football club Chelsea, resulted from a process conducted by the Jewish community of Porto under the Nationality Law for Sephardic Jews, who were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the medieval Inquisition.
To obtain nationality, the applicant must prove that he or she belongs to a Sephardic community, regardless of the current country of residence. However, the final decision and the legal certification of documents are the responsibility of the registry services and the Government.
In parallel, the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN) also announced last week the opening of an inquiry on this matter, with the president of this body, Filomena Rosa, estimating that “it should be concluded in February”, when, given the matter investigated, the investigation may or may not give rise to disciplinary proceedings.
The information on the Russian billionaire's naturalisation was revealed at the end of 2021 by Público newspaper, which added that the process took just six months. According to the daily, under the Nationality Law for Sephardic Jews, Roman Abramovich has been Portuguese since April 30.
The attribution of Portuguese nationality to Abramovich drew criticism from Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who wrote on Twitter that the Russian tycoon, considered close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, “has finally managed to find a country where he can pay some bribes and make some payments.” Semi-official and official payments to end up in the European Union (EU) and NATO”.
Navalny's criticisms were refuted by the Portuguese government, through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who, without directly referring to the criticisms of the Russian opponent, stated that the granting of Portuguese nationality to Abramovich is in accordance with a 2014 law.