Former Portuguese politicians charged for accepting gifts

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal's attorney general is charging two former secretaries of state and other former senior officials with accepting improper benefits after they allegedly received free trips from an energy company to attend an international soccer tournament.

The charges are against 16 people, including two former city mayors and two former senior government advisers, the attorney general's office said in a statement Friday.

Others charged are employees of national energy company Galp, which allegedly offered them the trips.

The statement gave the job titles of those charged but didn't name them. It said prosecutors also want the officials to be barred from holding public office.

Galp paid for the officials to fly to the 2016 European championship in France, and included meals and tickets for games involving Portugal's national team, the statement said.

The charges say the public officials knew they couldn't accept the gifts because doing so could call into question their impartiality, and that the company offered them the gifts only because they held positions of influence.

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