Ver Angola


Isabel dos Santos does not respond to Angolan justice. Trial could start in March

Businesswoman Isabel dos Santos was notified to be heard, but preferred not to answer questions from the Angolan authorities, said an official source, adding that the case involving her management at Sonangol could begin to be judged in March.

: Tiago Petinga/Lusa
Tiago Petinga/Lusa  

Deputy Attorney General of the Republic Pedro Mendes de Carvalho was speaking on the sidelines of a workshop on financial investigations and money laundering taking place this week in Luanda.

"According to the legal deadlines, the case could go to trial in two or three months, but then there is all the formalities that have to be followed", if contradictory instruction is requested, a phase of the process in which both the defense how the prosecution can intervene and in which the defendants can present arguments and evidence.

Only after this will the case be sent to court with an order of pronouncement, which means that it will go to the trial phase, or order of archiving.

Isabel dos Santos, daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos and who has lived outside Angola for several years, was notified to be heard, but refused to make a statement.

"She was notified for this purpose, she had the opportunity to defend herself, she took this diligence in the process", Pedro Mendes de Carvalho told journalists, stressing that the defendant is free to present or not [his version], and may or may not answer the questions.

The businesswoman is accused of 12 crimes in a case that involves her management at the head of the state oil company Sonangol between 2016 and 2017.

The national director of Investigation and Criminal Action and national director of Prevention and Combating Corruption of the PGR also highlighted that the Angolan authorities maintain good institutional relations with their counterparts, with whom they have been cooperating in judicial matters.

"We have been receiving letters rogatory from other countries and we have been sending letters rogatory, there have been results," he said, pointing out Portugal and Switzerland among the countries that have requested measures from Angola.

Pedro Mendes de Carvalho said that Angola is taking a series of actions to meet the recommendations of the Anti-Money Laundering Group for Southern and Eastern Africa (ESAAMLG) with a view to overcoming and better training operators involved in the fight against money laundering, and has been initiating more cases.

Published in June last year, the report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global agency to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, included a series of recommendations that Angola will have to comply with to avoid returning to the "grey list" of the institution, which implies significant restrictions on access to international financing.

"We have been working in this direction, we have done our utmost to be able to pass this assessment", highlighted the PGR manager.

Pedro Mendes de Carvalho highlighted that human resources have been reinforced, both in numbers and in training, as well as financial resources, to improve the conditions of magistrates.

The workshop, promoted by the Attorney General's Office and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, aims to enhance the capabilities of 40 magistrates from the Angolan Public Ministry and takes place within the scope of PRO.REACT - Project to Support the Strengthening of National Asset Confiscation System in Angola, financed by the European Union.


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