In a public note, to which the Lusa agency had access, the Association of Judges of Angola (AJA) underlines that it is with concern that it follows the publication of various news on the judiciary and on judicial magistrates, “being that, most of which , associate the name of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and, by virtue of their functions, the President of the CSMJ, in alleged practices and/or conduct that, if proven, flagrantly clash with the ethics and integrity required of judicial magistrates” .
According to the note, AJA cannot remain indifferent to the aforementioned news, “not only due to the need to safeguard credibility in the judicial system, but also to ensure that the existing legal mechanisms within the judiciary and State institutions with attributions for the necessary investigation, do not omit from their legal attributions, so that the facts are clarified, the truth is restored”.
The association considers that it is necessary to safeguard “the image and credibility of the courts, greatly affected by the aforementioned news, as well as the image and good name of the judicial magistrates who saw their names involved in the news and who are presumed innocent”.
In this sense, he calls on the CSMJ to activate the internal mechanisms and, with a view to transparency, the citizen's right to information, the prestige and credibility of the judicial system and the presumption of innocence of judicial magistrates and other persons mentioned, make the necessary inquiries and tabulation and, as soon as possible, communicate with the Angolan society, even if for the time being, just pass on preliminary information”.
The judges also demand that the CSMJ and the State bodies with attributions for the purpose seek to rigorously investigate with the identified news portals and also through the existing investigation mechanisms, all the facts that have been reported, either for the removal of suspicions on the magistrates targeted in them, as well as on the eventual responsibility of the offenders, if found, or of the "fake news makers", if that is the case.
AJA calls for scrupulous transparency, respect for the presumption of innocence and the right to information, in investigations, avoiding “all early judgments and convictions, which depreciate and discredit the judicial power”.
In recent days, the presiding judge of the Supreme Court of Angola, Joel Leonardo, has been constantly quoted in the news, in which he is accused of alleged mismanagement, nepotism, embezzlement, corruption, among other crimes.
Last week, the president of the Association of Public Prosecution Magistrates, Adelino Fançony, denounced interference in the work of magistrates in delicate cases, the consequences of which, when requests are not met, could jeopardize their careers, not ascending to higher categories of the judiciary.