Ver Angola


Portuguese PGR sends letter rogatory to Angola asking for the accusation against Isabel dos Santos

The Portuguese Public Ministry (MP) will send a letter rogatory to Angola requesting the accusation against businesswoman Isabel dos Santos in a case relating to her management at the oil company Sonangol, said the Attorney General's Office (PGR) of Portugal.

: Manuel Araújo/Lusa
Manuel Araújo/Lusa  

According to the Portuguese PGR, in response to the Lusa agency, following the accusation in Angola "and as part of the investigation being carried out by the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP), this department will send a letter rogatory to Angola requesting, in addition, the sending of a certificate of the accusation in question".

"Only after receiving and analyzing this certificate will be able to take a position, [...] assessing any possible overlap, total or partial, of objects of investigation in relation to crime(s) attributed to those targeted in the DCIAP investigation" of Portugal, added the PGR.

The MP also revealed that "nine investigations are underway at DCIAP that, directly or indirectly, target Isabel dos Santos".

The PGR recalled that Portugal is bound by international criminal judicial cooperation instruments, namely the Convention on Legal Aid in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).

"Therefore, [is] committed to the practice of certain actsrequested" and that "the only reasons for refusing cooperation are those provided for" in the convention, explained.

In an interview with Rádio Essencial de Angola, after the accusation became known, businesswoman Isabel dos Santos accused the Angolan authorities of giving "direct orders" and instructions to their Portuguese counterparts in the legal cases involving her in both countries.

In this case, Isabel dos Santos is accused of embezzlement, qualified fraud, abuse of power, abuse of trust, forgery of documents, criminal association, economic participation in business, influence peddling, tax fraud, qualified tax fraud (one crime each) and of two money laundering crimes.

In addition to the daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, the accused are Paula Oliveira, friend and partner (six crimes), her former manager and friend Mário Leite da Silva (six crimes), her former financial administrator at Sonangol Sarju Raikundalia (nine crimes) and the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) (two crimes).

According to the order, dated January 11, the defendants caused the Angolan State a loss of more than 208 million dollars, divided between 176 million dollars, 39 million euros and around 94 million kwanzas involving unduly paid salaries, sales with loss, tax fraud and fraudulent payments to companies.

The Angolan Public Ministry, which analyzes in this document the management of Isabel dos Santos between June 2016 and November 2017, points out several irregularities, including a parallel management scheme and contracts signed with companies linked to her, through which payments were made illegal.

According to the accusation, within the scope of her administration and taking advantage of her status as the daughter of the President (who passed away in 2022), Isabel dos Santos "duly agreed with the defendants Mário Silva, Sarju Raikundalia and Paula Oliveira, meticulously created a plan to defraud vigorously the Angolan State, persuading the Board of Directors to take decisions that benefited them".


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