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Isabel dos Santos accuses Portuguese justice of complying with orders from Angolan authorities

Businesswoman Isabel dos Santos said, this Tuesday, that the Angolan authorities give “direct orders” and instructions to their Portuguese counterparts in legal cases involving her in both countries.

: Ricardo Castelo (Via: Correio da Manhã)
Ricardo Castelo (Via: Correio da Manhã)  

The daughter of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, who spoke to Rádio Essencial, one day after Lusa disclosed the crimes of which it is accused in the process related to the management of Sonangol, said that processes to claim its investments are underway in Angola and Portugal.

Isabel dos Santos has accounts and assets seized in several countries following legal proceedings taking place in Angola and other jurisdictions.

Asked to comment on what she expects from the Portuguese authorities, the businesswoman stated that the decisions and positioning of the Portuguese Justice are "at the behest of the Angolan Justice", namely the Attorney General's Office (PGR) and the Asset Recovery Service, which "send instructions" which are complied with by the Portuguese counterparts "without checking whether it is true or false".

The businesswoman complained about the imposed secrecy of justice and not having "access to anything" and not knowing what she is accused of "because the Angolan PGR won't allow it" and gives "direct orders to the Portuguese authorities".

As for Angola, she stated that the seizures enacted at the end of 2019 "have a very negative impact on the management" of its former companies, highlighting that "the State's vocation is not to manage private companies, but to govern the country well".

On December 31, 2019, the Provincial Court of Luanda decreed the preventive seizure of the personal bank accounts of Isabel dos Santos, Sindika Dokolo and Mário Leite da Silva, at Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA), Banco Internacional de Crédito (BIC), Banco Angolano de Investimentos (BAI) and Banco Económico, in addition to the shareholdings that the three hold as beneficial owners in BIC, Unitel, BFA and ZAP Media.

The ruling issued at the time proved that the defendants had a credit to the Angolan State worth more than one billion dollars, a debt that the defendants recognized but claimed they were unable to pay, according to the document.

The International Investigative Journalism Consortium revealed on January 19, 2020 more than 715 thousand files, under the name of Luanda Leaks, which detail alleged financial schemes by Isabel dos Santos and her husband that allowed them to withdraw money from the Angolan public treasury through of tax havens.


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