Ver Angola


Judges and prosecutors protested poor working and social conditions

Close to a hundred judges and prosecutors held a silent protest this Wednesday, lasting about thirty minutes, to claim improvements in the working and social conditions of justice agents.

: Lusa

Concentrated in front of the Provincial Court of Luanda Dona Ana Joaquina, with couplets in hand, which said: "Independent Judiciary, Strong Institutions" and "Justice is Action, not Speeches", judges and prosecutors remained in that place in silence for half an hour.

Speaking to the press, the president of the Association of Judges of Angola (AJA), Esmael da Silva, said that the protest aimed to draw the attention of institutions to the need to reflect on the current state of justice.

"This involves addressing the issue of the physical structure of the courts, it involves assessing the number of employees who work to execute decisions, to notify the parties, that is, to make the court happen", he said.

Esmael da Silva also underlined that the Angolan justice actors also intended to draw attention to the investments that have been made in the area of justice and that it is also necessary to imprint procedural speed.

"The truth is that, from what can be seen with the naked eye, we are inside the processes, we are inside the courts and we can speak from the inside out, but even who is outside, how long does it take to hold a hearing and what how long it takes for the conclusion of a process. We understand that this compromises the fundamental right of access to law and justice", he stressed.

According to the president of AJA, among the three powers, the executive, legislative and judicial, the latter "is not in fact firm".

"This could compromise the entire structure of the State and there is a need for us to pay due attention to the judiciary," he defended.

Regarding the latest justice events in recent days, which involve the presiding judges of the Court of Auditors and the Supreme Court, Esmael da Silva said that AJA "has been following with great concern this environment that has been created around the judiciary".

"That the institutions dedicated to dealing with each of these cases work and not do it in silence, that they communicate with the Angolan people, who want to know what is going on, respecting the rights of those involved", he stressed.

The names of the presidents of the Supreme Court, Joel Leonardo, and of the Court of Auditors, Exalgina Gambôa, have been cited in recent weeks as being involved in alleged cases of corruption, embezzlement, among other crimes.

Exalgina Gambôa presented this Wednesday her resignation from the position, with the resignation presented this morning to the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, with knowledge to the Superior Council of the Judiciary.

The current president of the Court of Auditors and her son, Hailé da Cruz, were accused of crimes of extortion and corruption, as announced by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) on Tuesday, with the investigation process having been opened "in reaction to public information and complaints".

On Monday, the President announced that he had invited Exalgina Gambôa to resign on February 21 due to the various "occurrences" involving her.

Questioned on how the Angolan justice could recover its image in the face of the crisis it is facing, the president of AJA is of the opinion that it is possible, and for the cases in question, the Angolan legal system reserves mechanisms to solve any crisis.

"It is these mechanisms that must be put in place to resolve certain crises", said Esmael da Silva, considering that the "current state of justice is not good and needs more attention".

In turn, the president of the National Union of Magistrates of the Public Ministry, Adelino Fançony André, understands that "it is necessary to think deeply in the justice sector".

"We understand that it is the place where every Angolan citizen can be happy, because the main objective of justice is to effectively do justice, to give each one what is his, to give each one what he deserves, and to give each one what it deserves is that the bodies to which the responsibilities of administering justice have been assigned are endowed with a set of conditions and assumptions to effectively give each citizen what they deserve", he said.

The protest marked the opening of the judicial year, despite the official opening ceremony being postponed to a new date to be announced.

The judicial holidays took place from December last year until today, a period in which the courts were closed for internal work.


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