Ver Angola


Carlos São Vicente's wife asks for justice in court and defense criticizes preventive detention

The defense of Portuguese-Angolan Carlos São Vicente, whose trial was due to start this Wednesday and was postponed to 11 February, criticized this Wednesday the businessman's “excessive preventive detention”, while the woman demanded justice.


The trial of Carlos São Vicente, arrested since September 2020 on charges of embezzlement, tax fraud and money laundering, was due to start this Wednesday at the 3rd Criminal Chamber of the Luanda District Court, but was postponed due to "late notification" to the defendant.

Initially scheduled for 9:00 am, the session began just an hour and a half later in a small room to accommodate Carlos São Vicente's family members, who presented himself with a visibly weakened physical condition, as well as journalists and others interested in the process.

The judge in the case, Edson Escrivão, presented as a preliminary note the reading of a defense request asking for the adjournment of the session because the defendant was only notified on January 18, 2022, a document that was granted.

"The defendant was only notified on January 18, 2022, which is why the defense requested the adjournment of the hearing based on these grounds and this request was granted and the hearing was then scheduled for the next February 11, 2022 at 9:00 am in this same room", argued the judge.

The court must also evaluate other requests made by the defense during this period.

The businessman, married to Irene Neto, daughter of the first Angolan president, António Agostinho Neto, has been in preventive detention since September 2020 and is accused of several crimes, including tax fraud, involving amounts in excess of one billion euros, embezzlement and money laundering. of capital.

According to the indictment, the businessman, who for almost two decades had the monopoly of insurance and reinsurance of the state oil company Sonangol, will have set up a triangular scheme, with companies in Angola, London and Bermuda, which generated losses for the Angolan treasury, in fiscal terms, in an amount in excess of one billion euros.

Frenchman François Zimeray, one of Carlos São Vicente's lawyers, who was present this Wednesday at the court in Luanda, once again criticized the detention of his client, especially his "excessive preventive detention", hoping, however, that the Justice.

"We came as observers believing that justice will be done, it is the first time that I have attended a judicial hearing in Angola. As a lawyer and human rights ambassador in many courts around the world I was surprised that it was more like a conference of press than a trial hearing," he told reporters.

For François Zimeray, this Wednesday, at the beginning of the adjourned session, the judge in the case never addressed the accused or the defense: "He didn't even look at them, and I hope that justice is done and that the court ends to something that has nothing to do with justice".

"I draw attention to the fact that the law in Angola allows only one year of preventive detention as a limit, but this period has already been exceeded", observed the French lawyer, referring that "all people, poor or rich, are entitled to a fair trial".

The businessman's wife, Irene Neto, a member of the central committee of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA, in power since 1975) lamented the physical condition of Carlos São Vicente, admitting that he "has lost a lot of weight".

For this trial, she just said, "Let's wait for justice."

The Angolan judicial authorities ordered the seizure of assets and bank accounts belonging to the businessman, owner of AAA Seguros, and the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Angola also requested the freezing of bank accounts and the seizure of Irene Neto's assets.


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