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Sebastião Fernando puts Angolan justice “in the mud” due to suspicions about the president of the SC

Jurist Sebastião Fernando said that Angolan justice "is in the mud", due to scandals and suspicions of bad practices attributed to the president of the Supreme Court (SC), defending that he clarifies the "rumors" for "accountability" of those involved.


"It is not good that the name of the Angolan justice is constantly in the mud, because we would not be giving a good image of that is that democratic State and of Law that, continuously, we are building every day", said to Lusa Sebastião Fernando.

"It is very serious what is aired around what is the top of Angolan justice, we are talking about the Supreme Court and everything that has been said around its president, Judge Joel Leonardo, in no way endorses what is the robustness of that court and all justice in general", he pointed out.

For the lawyer, the president of the SC, who in recent months has been quoted in the news with accusations of alleged embezzlement, corruption, nepotism and others, "would be the first person interested in effectively clarifying these rumours".

"A deep, dispassionate investigation must be carried out, in order to be able to determine all the responsibilities, if any, and, if in fact there is, all those involved in this process must be held accountable with the SC", he defended.

On the other hand, he stressed: "If it also turns out that there are no indications or evidence for everything that is being aired on social networks, effectively punish the makers of this false news".

Complaints about the alleged involvement of the chief judge of the Supreme Court, Joel Leonardo, appear weekly on social media and on various news portals and have even provoked reactions from the Association of Judges of Angola (AJA).

At stake will be alleged practices of nepotism, mismanagement, sale of sentences and waste.

Sebastião Fernando insists that Joel Leonardo should come publicly to clarify everything that is said around the Supreme Court "because the president and his office are the ones targeted".

"It is time to carry out a deep investigation, to determine responsibilities, if it is necessary to punish, the culprits should be punished, because guilt cannot die alone", he reaffirmed.

"Someone is lying, either by the court or by the media, therefore, to give credibility to what is already our fragile justice system, it is always good that these doubts can be effectively clarified", concluded Sebastião Fernando.

The AJA urged the Superior Council for the Judiciary (CSMJ) to activate internal mechanisms to investigate as soon as possible complaints that, it said, clash "flagrantly with the ethics and integrity required of judicial magistrates".

In a public note, which the Lusa agency had access to on Monday, AJA expresses its concern about the publication of different news about the judiciary and about judicial magistrates, "with the majority associating the name of the presiding judge of the TS and, by virtue of their duties, 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, the 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 judicial power and State institutions with attributions for the necessary investigation, do not omit themselves 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".

The AJA calls for scrupulous transparency, respect for the presumption of innocence and the right to information, in investigations, avoiding "all judgments and early convictions, which depreciate and discredit the judicial power".

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.

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