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São Tomé: ruling party wants reopening of investigation into Angolan loan of 30 million dollars

The MLSTP/PSD, a party in the Sao Tome government, on Thursday asked prosecutors to reopen the investigation into angola's 30 million dollars loan, which occurred during the government of former Prime Minister Patrice Trovoada in 2019.

: Lusa

"The MLSTP/PSD also calls on the Public Prosecutor's Office of our country to reopen the investigation process of the loan of 30 million dollars, contracted by the XVI Constitutional Government" asked this Thursday the Movement for the Liberation of Sao Tome and Prince/Social Democratic Party (MLSTP/PSD) in a press release read by the secretary general of the party, Filomena Monteiro.

The São Tome sect court filed the alleged corruption case involving the current President, Carlos Vila Nova, and former minister Américo Ramos, under a credit of 30 million dollars, while proceedings are taking place in Angola, judicial source told Lusa on Tuesday.

Speaking to Lusa, a source linked to the investigation said that the process was divided into two parts: "The part relating to Carlos Vila Nova and Américo Ramos culminated in filing order. Given the origin of the money, another party has been referred to international cooperation in criminal matters for Angola, where joint work has been done with the Angolan authorities."

The MLSTP/PSD bases the reopening of the process in São Tomé "following the news on the subject published very recently in an Angolan newspaper [Blog Maka Angola] and taken over by journalist Rafael Marques in his interview with Radio DW Africa".

On the other hand, the MLSTP/PSD also referred to the public statements of the President of the Republic on the occasion of the new year, "in which he said there is institutionalized corruption in São Tome and Principe" as well as the recent report on corruption in São Tomé and Príncipe" published in a civil society forum "in which corruption in São Tomé and Príncipe is highlighted".

"THE MLSTP/PSD makes a vibrant public appeal to the President of the Republic to clarify and make available the information he holds on the alleged cases he is aware of and, as the nation's highest magistrate, to instruct the competent judicial authorities to swiftly investigate the alleged acts of corruption for clarification and accountability of any fraudsters", asked the secretary general of the party leading the Sao Tome government.

For the MLSTP/PSD "the clarification and resolution of these cases of justice, in a timely manner, would not only credibilize the image of justice" sao tomese "but also create a climate of trust with bilateral and multilateral partners in mobilizing resources for the development of the country".

On Tuesday the Prime Minister of Sao Tome and President of MLSTP/PSD also asked the court to clarify the corruption cases associated with the country.

"It worries me as a citizen, as a ruler, as a patriot that issues like these constantly appear to pinch the image of Sao Tome and Principe, so I ask the courts that all these problems be quickly resolved in the spheres themselves so that we can bury all these financial scandals once and for all," said the head of the Government.

The Attorney General of the Republic, Hélder Pitta Grós, said that "no defendants have yet been constituted" in the alleged embezzlement of 30 million dollars transferred by Angola to São Tomé and said that the two countries are cooperating to find out the truth.

"We are working and we can have no perspective, our only perspective is to find out the truth and then say something, we are working to find out the truth," Hélder Pitta Grós, questioned by Lusa, said on Wednesday.

In his blog 'Maka Angola', Rafael Marques – who was recently in São Tomé and Príncipe – published an article entitled "Angola and the Hidden Debt of São Tomé", indicating that on July 25, 2015 – during the Government headed by Patrice Trovoada and that Vila Nova and Américo Ramos were ministers, respectively with the infrastructure and finance portfolios – "China-Sonangol Investment transferred, from Indonesia, the amount of 10 million dollars for the account of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe in the bank Portuguese Caixa Geral de Depósitos".

"This amount was part of a 30 million dollars credit agreement between the China International Fund (CIF) and the Sao Tome government. The remaining 20 million dollars 'disappeared', 'smoky', 'turned' , and the government of Sao Tome knows neither how to request them, nor to whom to pay the debt of 10 million dollars. A case that is at least caricato, and involves Angola through [state oil] Sonangol", he added.

According to the same publication, the loan was intended for the construction of a new administrative center and residences for civil servants in the capital, São Tomé, and was to be paid by 2036, after five years of grace, with an annual interest rate of one percent.

"China-Sonangol Investment is a consortium between Angolan oil company Sonangol and CIF, part of a community of private interests with companies called Sonangol, based in Indonesia, China and Singapore," continued Rafael Marques.

According to 'Maka Angola', the National Assembly of São Tomé and Príncipe clarified, in 2019, that "after research in the database of the legislative process, there was never 'any motion for a resolution' on the loan agreement between the State of São Tomé and Príncipe and the CIF", although the Sao Tome legislation provides that "loan agreements to the State of São Tomé and Príncipe must be submitted for approval" by parliament.


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