Ver Angola

Defense

Isabel dos Santos says she is in possession of recordings that reveal government conspiracy against her

Isabel dos Santos says she has in her possession recordings that reveal a "far-reaching conspiracy engineered by the government of Angolan President João Lourenço to illegally usurp" her assets. According to the businesswoman, the evidence against Angola has already been presented in the High Court in London as part of an ongoing case against Unitel International Holdings (UIH), owned by Isabel dos Santos, filed by Unitel to seek repayment of loans it made to UIH in 2012 and 2013 .

: Nuno Coimbra
Nuno Coimbra  

"The evidence was collected and provided to the High Court in London by the intelligence firm Black Cube," a statement sent to VerAngola reads.

The investigation collected dozens of "hours of audio and video recordings in which former senior officials and advisors to the Angolan government make damning revelations about how the Angolan government conspired to launch a series of coordinated attacks on Isabel dos Santos, with the aim of seizing her assets.

According to the statement, the new evidence reveals that "the Lourenço administration created a 'task force' with the explicit objective of designing and coordinating a strategy and campaign to sustain the illegitimate seizure of Isabel dos Santos' assets," that the government "instructed the judicial system (including the Angolan Supreme Court and the Attorney General's Office) to institute a pre-determined judicial process against Isabel dos Santos which allowed for the application of an order to freeze her assets by the Angolan State" and also "ordered Mercury (through its parent company, the state oil company Sonangol) to act in collusion with PT Ventures (through its parent company, Brazil's Oi, the opposing party), in the ICC Unitel arbitration proceeding, in order to secure an outcome favorable to PT Ventures."

Michelle Duncan, Isabel dos Santos' legal advisor, quoted in the communiqué, said that the new evidence - presented in the scope of an ongoing lawsuit against Unitel International Holdings (UIH), owned by Isabel dos Santos, presented by Unitel, to request the repayment of loans it made to UIH in 2012 and 2013 - "are as damning as they are disturbing" and make it clear that "the lawsuit filed against Unitel International Holdings (UIH) by Unitel in the High Court in London is just one element of a malicious and far-reaching campaign by the Angolan government to illegally seize the assets of Isabel dos Santos.

The legal adviser also says that the evidence shows that there is a conspiracy "conceived and sustained under the express direction of the Angolan leadership. The many hours of audio and video recordings provide a clear account of the numerous criminal techniques used over several years to frame, defame and illicitly isolate Isabel dos Santos, allowing the Angolan State to illegitimately seize her assets.

The advisor ends by stating that this new evidence will be analyzed by a judge "in due time.

The note states that the materials published during Luanda Leaks "were obtained illegally, manipulated and used as a central element of a broad 'strategy of appropriation of assets' designed by the administration of João Lourenço to 'accuse, defame and illegally isolate Isabel dos Santos, thus allowing the Angolan State to illegitimately confiscate her assets'."

He also indicated that documents presented previously in the Angolan Court had already revealed the existence of "forged and falsified" evidence that was "used by the Angolan State in the process of seizure of Isabel dos Santos' assets. Among those documents were "a forged passport, fraudulent set of emails, a memorandum from the Angolan secret services describing a fake Unitel transaction, a forged loan contract from Sonangol, and a forged report from the Portuguese Judiciary Police."

"The evidence shows how the Angolan state's attacks on Isabel dos Santos were driven not only by political and financial motives, but also as a way to distract public opinion from the corruption and bribery plaguing João Lourenço's government, including senior officials and the state-owned oil company Sonangol," the note accuses.

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