According to the bishop of the UCKG Angola, Alberto Segunda, Honorilton Gonçalves has been absent from Angola for more than three months and his return is conditioned to a request that the UCKG made to the National Institute for Religious Affairs (INAR), which gives the approval to the missionary bishops and to date there is no response.
"Until now we have not had an answer, it is the only thing that conditions the coming of Bishop Gonçalves here", said Alberto Segunda, admitting the hypothesis that the reading of the judgment will take place without the presence of Honorilton Gonçalves.
Asked if the church exerted any pressure to obtain the approval, Alberto Segunda explained that the procedure is for the institution to make the request and wait for a response.
"This answer has not been given so far", said the bishop, adding that the request was made shortly after the defendant left the country, more than three months have passed since he left Angola for a family visit and medical evaluation.
Honorilton Gonçalves, former spiritual leader of the UCKG in Angola, left the country in December 2021, after the court lifted the restriction on leaving Angolan territory imposed on the accused for almost 14 months, due to the legal impossibility of a new extension.
In the trial, which began on November 18, 2021, Angolan bishop António Ferraz, Brazilian pastor Fernandes Teixeira and Angolan pastor Belo Kifua Miguel are accused of criminal association and money laundering.
At stake is the division of the UCKG in Angola, since 2019, when Angolan bishops and pastors accused Brazilian managers of various crimes, namely money laundering, foreign exchange evasion, vasectomy obligation, as well as racism.
Regarding the sentence, Bishop Alberto Segunda, who leads the Brazilian side after the disagreements, said he was expectant, "in the sense that all the accusations against the defendants are lacking in evidence."
"During all the time the defendants have been charged, so far we haven't seen any of the crimes being proven in every trial session, none of the crimes that fall on the defendants have been proven," he reaffirmed.
Alberto Segunda alleges that the people who were accused during the period in which the alleged crimes took place "were not in the country, they were not in charge of the work of the UCKG".
"How is it possible to convict people who were not in that period? So, I believe that there has to be or will be acquittal, due to the fact that nothing falls on the defendants. This is our expectation, our vision, and we believe that this will be the case way", he emphasized.
The bishop assured that they are open to dialogue with the other party even if the sentence is favorable or not.
"In fact, we have already done that. For those who follow our TV and radio programs, we have appealed to others who left the institution, who left, to come back", he said.
"The issue is not just going back to the institution, going back so that people can be reconciled, first of all with God, because those who are not reconciled with God do not have inner peace, they suffer, and all we want is for people to have inner peace, be well, be happy, that's what we want", he added.
Brazilians accuse Angolan bishops and pastors, who have left the church, of acts of xenophobia and aggression, following the forcible seizure of temples across the country.
The Angolan justice opened the process that is now on trial, closed the temples and invited Brazilian missionaries to leave Angolan territory.
In turn, the Angolan authorities recognized as a legitimate interlocutor with the Government the reformist wing, led by Bishop Valente Bezerra Luís.
Lusa also contacted David Mendes, who represents the dissident branch of the UCKG in Angola, to find out what his expectations were regarding the outcome of the case, but the lawyer preferred not to comment.