Ver Angola


MP says detention of defendants in the Lussati case was legal and “there was no auction of goods”

The Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) said this Wednesday that the presence of current and former rulers in the Lussati case "for now appears impertinent", given the evidence produced, and that there was no auction of the assets seized in the case.


The position of the MP was presented on the second day of the trial of the case in which 49 defendants and more than 200 deponents are enrolled, when the magistrate made considerations about previous questions presented by the defense.

The reading of the indictment was scheduled for this Wednesday, but the session began with the MP's response to the questions raised by the defense on the first day of the trial, which takes place at the Talatona Convention Center, in Luanda.

Regarding the request for an appearance at a hearing by, among others, the former and current Minister of Finance, and the heads of the Civil and Military Household of the Presidency of the Republic, the MP "understands that for now the claim of the applicants appears impertinent in the face of the evidence produced and fixed in the records".

However, said the MP's representative, "if during the stage of production of evidence at the hearing the court deems it appropriate, nothing stands in the way."

Major Pedro Lussati, assigned to the Military House of the Presidency of the Republic and considered the leader of the group, was arrested in possession of millions of dollars, euros and kwanzas stored in suitcases, crates and in several vehicles.

Among the defendants are officers of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and civilians, accused of embezzlement, criminal association, undue receipt of advantage, economic participation in business, abuse of power, fraud in the transport or transfer of currency abroad, illicit introduction of foreign currency into the country, illegal currency trading, prohibition of cash payments, withholding of currency, forgery of documents, money laundering and assuming false identity.

The defense invoked in the first trial several illegalities in the detention of the defendants.

Regarding the prison situation of the defendant Pedro Lussati, the MP explained that he was detained "by means of a competent arrest warrant" and the prison situation of the other defendants "was the subject of consideration and decision in the healing order of the judge in the case".

"So the Public Prosecutor's Office understands that such a situation should not be the subject of consideration in the context of prior questions", considered the MP.

As for the alluded nullity of the accusation, he said that the "accusation made by the MP in the present case was made in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Angola (CRA) and the law, that is, it respected the constitutional principle of legality".

The Public Prosecutor's Office also spoke about the aforementioned auction of seized assets, considering that "there was no auction of the aforementioned assets in the case file", stressing that at this stage the assets "are to the court's order".

Regarding the nullity of the acts of seizure of assets, raised by the defense, the MP said that he found that the seizure was carried out under the terms of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPP), noting that the Asset Recovery Law "does not bring a new model of seizure ".

What exists "is the suspension of the defendant's dominion over assets".

"The assets seized remain in the property sphere of the defendants and there has not been any loss of property so far. Such loss can only occur in the eventual conviction of the defendant or defendants", he added.

The MP also commented on the extension of the coercive measure in the judge's order, arguing that "it is legal that the judge can at all stages re-examine the defendant's preventive detention".


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