Ver Angola


Isabel dos Santos says she never refused to make statements to the Angolan justice system

Businesswoman Isabel dos Santos said this Tuesday that she never refused to make a statement to the Angolan court and that she was not notified by the Attorney General's Office of the Republic of Angola, adding that she has already responded to the accusation in the Sonangol case.

: Eneias Rodrigues
Eneias Rodrigues  

In a message sent to Lusa, after the Angolan authorities said that Isabel dos Santos had refused to present her version of the facts of which she is accused, the businesswoman's lawyers claim that the statement made by the Deputy Attorney General of the Republic of Angola, Pedro Mendes de Carvalho, is false, that businesswoman Isabel dos Santos was notified to be heard, but that she preferred not to answer the questions.

"Eng. Isabel dos Santos, who has lived outside Angola for several years (since 2017), was not notified by the PGR of Angola to be heard and has never refused to make statements to the Court or to collaborate in discovering the truth of the facts and their replacement", highlight the lawyers (unidentified) in the note sent to Lusa.

According to the statement, on January 22, 2024, Isabel dos Santos presented answers and clarifications to the accusation relating to her management at the Angolan oil company Sonangol (dated January 11, 2024) within the period established by law of ten days, following the notification received by his lawyers on January 12th of this year.

The note states that Isabel dos Santos requested the contradictory investigation of the case, which was filed in court on January 22nd.

Isabel dos Santos, who is facing legal proceedings in several jurisdictions, says that she was never formally constituted as a defendant by the Angolan authorities and that she was only allowed to consult the file, with ten thousand pages, for three hours.

The businesswoman, daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos, is accused of twelve crimes in the process involving her management at the Angolan state oil company, including embezzlement, qualified fraud, abuse of power, abuse of trust, document forgery, criminal association, economic participation in business, influence peddling, money laundering, tax fraud and qualified tax fraud.

Isabel dos Santos' lawyers point out contradictions in the statements made by the Deputy Attorney General of the Republic of Angola, Pedro Mendes de Carvalho, saying that they "even contradict the statements and the content of the accusation", in which the PGR of Angola itself claims to be unaware of the residence by Isabel dos Santos.

"So, how and where, then, did the Angolan PGR send these supposed notifications?", they ask.

The lawyers reinforce that Isabel dos Santos has always been available and responded to justice, listing requests and providing statements in the context of several processes in Portugal, including a process related to the Bank of Portugal.

In relation to case number 48/19 (Sonangol case), the lawyers say that Isabel dos Santos justified her absence from the country, for health reasons, due to covid-19, expressing her willingness to collaborate.

"On March 6, 2020, the medical justification was added and, from then on, Eng. Isabel dos Santos was no longer notified of any action to be taken or carried out. This, read, 4 years ago ago", they highlight, reinforcing that Isabel dos Santos "was always present in the processes through her lawyers, a reason that the PGR of Angola knew, knows and was able to notify".


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