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Cafunfo: Zeca Mutchima's lawyer complains of "denial of justice

The lawyer for the leader of the Movement of the Portuguese Protectorate Lunda Tchokwe (MPPLT), José Mateus "Zeca Mutchima", filed a petition for habeas corpus in the Supreme Court (TS), complaining of "denial of justice" by the court of Lunda Norte.

: Líder do Movimento do Protetorado Português Lunda Tchokwe, José Mateus
Líder do Movimento do Protetorado Português Lunda Tchokwe, José Mateus "Zeca Mutchima"  

According to Salvador Freire, the request entered on Thursday in the TS, due to the "denial of justice" of the court of Lunda Norte, which "did not respond" to the initial petition for habeas corpus for Zeca Mutchima, detained for almost two months, to be released.

Zeca Mutchima has been detained by the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) in Luanda since February 8, indicted for the crimes of "association of criminals and armed rebellion," following the January 30 incidents in Cafunfo, which resulted in several deaths and injuries.

According to the police, about 300 people linked to the MPPLT, which for years has defended the autonomy of the region rich in mineral resources, tried to invade, in the early hours of January 30, a police station in Cafunfo, province of Lunda Norte.

The police also claim that, in their defense, the forces of order and security killed six people.

The police version is contradicted by the leaders of the MPPLT, political parties in the opposition, and local civil society, who are talking about more than a dozen deaths.

Zeca Mutchima is pointed out by the authorities as the ringleader of this alleged "act of rebellion", which for the local citizens was a "peaceful demonstration".

On Friday, the lawyer Salvador Freire expressed his desire to see his request for habeas corpus answered by the TS, so that his client could await trial in freedom, considering that he "was arrested illegally.

"Meanwhile, they [the authorities] should fulfill other formalities and be transferred to Lunda Norte to be heard, but until this date he is still here in Luanda," he told Lusa.

SIC "does not know when he will be transferred, there is no information that is given to the lawyers, so we are concerned about this situation," noted the lawyer.

Freire recalls that the appeal to the Supreme Court stems from the "silence" of the Lunda Norte court, where the habeas corpus petition was referred in the first instance.

"We think that this is a denial of justice, because it is the competence of the court of Lunda Norte to answer the habeas corpus that we sent. We will now wait for the Supreme Court to respond so that we can have Zeca Mutchima released," he concluded.

Zeca Mutchima's lawyer is also president of the human rights civic association "Mãos Livres".