A Portuguese court has lifted the house arrest that it had imposed on the country's former Socialist prime minister Jose Socrates.

The state prosecutor and Socrates' lawyers said the 58-year-old was now free to leave his house, but still must remain in Portugal unless given special authorization.

Socrates met with his legal representatives until the early hours of Saturday and "is now a free man, who can talk whenever he likes," his lawyer Joao Araujo said.

Socrates, who was in power from 2005 to 2011, just before Portugal was given a 78 billion euro (then $87 billion) bailout, has spent 10 months under arrest while police and prosecutors investigate him for suspected corruption, money-laundering and tax fraud.