The Conservatory was forced to give Abramovich Portuguese citizenship for “reasons of national interest” which “involve the government itself”.
According to a report by Público, the Israeli community of Porto asked the central services of the Institute of Registries and Notaries to prioritize the Roman Abramovich case.
The Israeli Community of Porto (CIP) reportedly pressured the Central Civil Status Office to urgently naturalize Roman Abramovich: in an email sent on February 3, 2021 to Maria de Lurdes Serrano, director of the Central State Office civil, the Israeli Community of Porto invoked “reasons of national interest” that “involve the government itself” to request that its process be considered a priority, writes Público.
The process of granting Portuguese nationality to the billionaire entered the central registers on October 14, 2020 and, until February of the following year, did not register any diligence, since the central service of the Institute of Registers and notaries had received tens of thousands of identical requests.
According to the newspaper, the management of CIP decided to ask in the aforementioned email – for which confidentiality was requested – that an “urgent declaration” be made for this process or, alternatively, that it be transferred to the Conservatória do Porto where, according to CIP, the procedure would take around 10 months, unlike in Lisbon where it could take up to 30 months.
In this letter, the Jewish community of Porto, one of those which received from the Portuguese State the task of certifying the descendants of Sephardic Jews, even mentions the name of the former Minister of Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira , whom they had already met “in view of possible investments in Portugal by Jews of Portuguese origin”. CIP also forwarded to the Central Registries a letter from B’nai B’rith International, the largest and oldest Jewish community in the world, signed by the organization’s president, Charles O. Kaufman, emphasizing that “we are indebted to Roman Abramovich, Michael Kadoorie and Jacob Safra as benefactors for our community in Portugal“.
The director of the Conservatória dos Registos Centrales responded to CIP’s email assuring that Abramovich’s application would take no more than ten months and determined that the process was becoming urgent. Abramovich’s naturalization application was finally granted on April 13 by former Justice Secretary Anabela Pedroso, and Portuguese citizenship was granted on April 30, less than three months after the letter was sent. electronically by the Jewish community of Porto.