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Isabel dos Santos accuses Angolan justice of "causing damage" to Portuguese companies

Winterfell, Isabel dos Santos' company that controls Efacec, accused the Angolan justice of causing "unjustifiable damage" to Portuguese companies and is misusing the justice in Portugal for "non-legal and disproportionate purposes".


In a communiqué to which Lusa had access, the companies Winterfell2 and Winterfell Industries, controlled by Isabel dos Santos and owning more than 60 percent of the share capital of EPS SGPS, "react publicly to the seizure of their shares in Efacec Power Solutions SGPS SA ("Efacec"), to express that such a request from Angolan justice is clearly abusive and excessive".

Efacec was one of the companies whose shares were "frozen" in March, following a rogatory letter from Angola requesting the seizure of all the bank accounts of the daughter of former President José Eduardo dos Santos in Portugal, as well as of her shareholdings in NOS and Eurobic.

The Angolan businesswoman had decided to leave the company's shareholder structure in January after her involvement in the case known as "Luanda Leaks" was known.

Winterfell's communiqué stressed that the seizure of Isabel dos Santos' shares in Efacec represents "a clear abuse and a patent of illegality that the Portuguese judicial authorities should take care to investigate and avoid" before accepting the request of the Angolan justice.

The document also stressed that the Angolan justice, in addition to having seized assets worth more than the alleged credit claimed from Isabel dos Santos (2.7 billion euros compared to 1.1 billion euros), gives different treatment to Portuguese and Angolan companies requesting judicial measures in Portugal that were not applied in Angola.

According to Winterfell, in Angola "the prosecutor did not request the blocking of company accounts, nor did he prevent salaries, rents, taxes, water and electricity from being paid", while in Portugal "he requested the blocking of accounts, preventing them from operating and forcing their insolvency, leading to the dismissal of around one hundred workers", a situation aggravated by the crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

He stressed that the current state of emergency requires that "an injustice" that is causing "unjustifiable damage to this and other Portuguese companies, which are now prevented from operating" should not be perpetuated.

Winterfell questioned "the misuse of Portuguese justice to achieve non-legal and disproportionate ends".

"We are clearly facing a situation where the new Angolan executive is claiming alleged actions of the previous executive never proved", he stressed.

For this reason, the company considered that "it is not up to the Portuguese justice to have jurisdiction in this matter that is political, nor to be part of it".

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