Former Macau governor General Vasco Rocha Vieira could be forced to hand back $50 million he transferred before the handover to a foundation he heads in Portugal. The board of trustees of the Jorge Alvares Foundation (JAF) will meet in Lisbon on Tuesday to discuss the possible return of the money to the public Macau Co-operation and Development Foundation (MCDF), according to a report in Macau's Ponto Final. At least one Macau lawmaker has described the transfer - carried out just before the handover - as theft. An independent inquiry found the transaction took place in a grey area of the law. The board of trustees' decision to meet was a result of Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah's visit to Portugal last week, the report said. During the four-day visit, Mr Ho said it was up to General Vieira whether the $50 million was returned. In March, General Vieira broke his silence on the matter, defending the transfer as 'completely legal' and adding that he did not want to harm 'the relationship of good co-operation and understanding between Portugal and Macau'. He was also said to be 'very irritated' by the circumstances of the investigation into the controversy. The former governor was not cleared of wrongdoing by Mr Ho or the three-man panel who investigated the transfer. Mr Ho said there was 'some ambiguity over the issue'. However, this month he said he considered the issue closed. General Vieira is said to have ordered the cash be transferred just days before the Macau handover on December 19 last year. The general chaired the MCDF until the handover and now heads the Lisbon-based JAF. Pro-democracy legislator Antonio Ng Kuok-cheong, who described the transfer as theft, slammed the independent panel's findings, saying the Macau administration was trying to 'turn a big problem into a small matter'. He demanded the report be made public. The Portuguese media has strongly criticised General Vieira over the transfer, which only became public in January this year. The JAF maintains its main objective is to promote cultural ties between Macau and Portugal. But a prominent Portuguese lawyer, who declined to be named, said: 'The only way of redeeming himself is to send the money back to Macau. After all, his foundation also received a private donation of $100 million from [gambling tycoon] Stanley Ho Hung-sun, and that's a lot of money in Portugal.'