Ver Angola


Prolonged preventive detention of Carlos de São Vicente. Defense warns of health problems

The court extended for two more months, "without any justification", the preventive detention of the Portuguese-Angolan businessman, Carlos São de Vicente, whose state of health has been "seriously aggravated", the defense lawyers said in a statement.

: César Magalhães
César Magalhães  

"Luso-Angolan businessman Carlos São Vicente saw the preventive detention he has been in since September last year extended for two more months and without any justification by the judicial authorities," said the defense, in a note sent to Lusa .

A situation that lawyers recall having already been "classified as unconstitutional by several jurists", including the Portuguese constitutionalist Jorge Miranda, who points out that the preventive detention in São Vicente "offends elementary principles of the democratic rule of law" and violates the Constitution .

Jorge Miranda stressed in his opinion "there is no danger of escape (...) or disturbance of the process" if Carlos São Vicente leaves the prison and waits for the trial in freedom, also emphasizing the precarious state of health of the businessman, who has worsened in the meantime, according to his lawyers.

The decision to extend the businessman's preventive detention for another two months was communicated by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) on April 16, the note said.

The moment coincides "with a sharp deterioration in the already precarious health status of Carlos São Vicente as a patient at risk, at a time when 80 cases of covid-19 are reported in the prison where he is", underline the lawyers .

According to relatives of Carlos de São Vicente, such as brother-in-law Mário Jorge Neto, or mother-in-law, Maria Eugénia Neto, who visited him very recently at the prison, the businessman shows "evident signs of the development of a tumor on his back", to in addition to symptoms resulting from sleep deprivation ", reports the defense.

For this reason, lawyers promise to reinforce the complaints already presented to international organizations.

"The extension of preventive detention, considered" illegal by Carlos de São Vicente's lawyers, together with the increased risk of life for the businessman due to health problems, will now lead lawyers François Zimmeray and Jessica Finele to reinforce the complaints already presented to international organizations ", the note reads.

"What goes on has nothing to do with justice. This arrest is totally illegal. Our client's life is in danger and we will do everything to ensure that the perpetrators of this arbitrary arrest are held criminally responsible for their actions," explained Zimmeray.

The lawyers say they now await, "at any time, the decision of the UN Human Rights Working Group and the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, in the face of complaints filed against the Angolan government and judicial authorities".

Both complaints "aim at urgent appeals to Angola to proceed with the immediate release of Carlos São Vicente", underlines the defense of the businessman in a statement issued this Friday.

Carlos São Vicente, owner of the AAA group of companies, one of the largest private conglomerates in Angola, and holding for several years Sonangol's insurance and reinsurance monopoly, was formally accused of the crimes of embezzlement, money laundering and tax fraud. notified of the prosecutor's order on 17 March.

The Attorney General's Office also asked for the freezing of bank accounts and the seizure of assets of Irene Neto, daughter of the first President, Agostinho Neto, and the businessman's wife.


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