Ver Angola


Court denied request from MP and accepted statements from JES

The Supreme Court rejected this Tuesday a request from the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) to refuse the document with statements from the former President, José Eduardo dos Santos, in the process of transferring 500 million dollars.


The written statements of the former President, in response to a court order requested by the defence of the accused Valter Filipe, former governor of the National Bank of Angola (BNA), were read this Tuesday during the trial in Luanda.

The MP raised doubts about the document, of 6 February, as it was a copy, signed on the last page and scanned.

The presiding judge, João da Cruz Pitra, argued that it was requested that the signature be duly recognized, to prevent doubts, "in a trial phase in which certainties are required to make the final decision," but despite the breach of the imposition, admitted "the junction, having the probative value stipulated in law.

At the end of the session, Valter Filipe's defence lawyer said that the statements read in court, requested on 9 December, should have been requested by the MP at the beginning of the process.

"One cannot conclude whether or not these people committed the crimes of which they have been accused and pronounced if one does not listen to the person who was running the country at the time, to confirm whether or not he ordered those operations, and on what terms they were carried out and for what purpose. This is fundamental," said Sérgio Raimundo.

Sérgio Raimundo stressed that at no point in the answers were the acts carried out by his constituent questioned and considered the MP's doubts as "despair of cause".

In the answers to the eight questions from Valter Filipe's defence, the former President confirmed that he guided and authorised the then Finance Minister, Archer Mangueira, and the former governor of the BNA to carry out, on behalf and in the interest of the State, actions for the mobilisation of 30 billion dollars in mid-2017.

José Eduardo dos Santos stressed that the objective would be to obtain financial resources that would contribute to give continuity, under better conditions, to the financing of the State, to come out of the economic and financial crisis experienced at the time and, consequently, to promote economic and social development aimed at improving the quality of life of the populations.

The former President, who has been in Barcelona, Spain, for several months, also replied that he had asked Valter Filipe, in the initial phase of the process, to negotiate and sign the first contracts for the provision of services and financial intermediation with the promoters of the funding and to issue the guarantees, and it was then up to the executive to set up the funds to operate the funds.

On his initiative, José Eduardo dos Santos confirmed that at some point during the negotiations the case was coordinated by the defendant, Valter Filipe, supported by a negotiating team made up of BNA technicians, because the then Minister of Finance, who had coordinated the case until then, was dismissed by him "for agenda reasons".

Valter Filipe's choice to conduct the case was also justified because it was "more comfortable for the banks to begin the relationship with the Angolan central bank".

José Eduardo dos Santos also attested that he authorized the transfer of the 500 million dollars, as it was a mere guarantee.

Given the nature of the account, of fiduciary custody, the monetary values would remain in the BNA's legal sphere and were only intended to guarantee the financing operation for the State, "which is why there was no possibility of anyone taking possession of the same values, under penalty of whoever acted in this way being held criminally and civilly responsible," he explained.

The former head of state said he made the operation known to the current president, João Lourenço, and some of his assistants, for the mobilisation of the 30 billion dollars, guiding Valter Filipe to hand over the complete dossier of the operation to the current Minister of State for Economic Coordination, Manuel Nunes Júnior, who invited him to attend the meeting with the promoters.

At the meeting, at the Presidential Palace, according to José Eduardo dos Santos, the objective of the operation was clarified: "For this reason, nothing was done in a hidden way or in a hidden way, as they are now trying to make us believe, not least because the BNA referred the case to the civil house and issued an opinion through the secretariat for the legal affairs of the President of the Republic for the constitution of the funds and draft presidential decrees were being prepared".

The former President stated that the banking union promised to guarantee the loan of 30 billion dollars, but at the signing of the contract its representatives did not attend.

The court has scheduled the next session for 27 this month, to consider documents requested by the MP and the defence.


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