Ver Angola


Lawyers in the Lussati case admit abandoning trial in Angola due to court’s “partiality”

The lawyers in the Lussati case complained this Thursday of the court's “lack of impartiality” in its treatment with the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) and are considering abandoning Friday's session, after mass protests on the second day of the trial.


The claim was expressed this Thursday by Francisco Muteka, attorney for Major Pedro Lussati, considered the head of the group in this trial in which 49 defendants are listed, considering that the court is acting impartially in its treatment with the MP.

"The court's lack of impartiality in the treatment between lawyers and the MP's magistrate, the failure to comply with prudent diligence by the court in very relevant prior questions that should have had another and well-founded approach by the court", he said this Thursday to the Lusa.

According to Francisco Muteka, on Wednesday, the second day of the trial, the lawyers all stood up to protest, threatening to leave the room en bloc, as a result of the alleged lack of partiality on the part of the court.

The defense considers writing to the Bar Association and the Superior Council of the Judiciary "so that an example of justice can be set, a fair trial that actually respects the principles that guide the dictates of the rule of law."

The trial of Major Pedro Lussati, assigned to the Military House of the Presidency of the Republic, and the other defendants began on Tuesday and takes place at the Talatona Convention Center, in Luanda, due to the large number of defendants and deponents, more than 200, rolled.

Pedro Lussati was arrested in possession of millions of dollars, euros and kwanzas stored in suitcases, crates and in several vehicles.

The Luanda District Court, on the second day of hearings, gave voice to the MP to make considerations about previous questions previously presented by the defense and then the judge in the case also presented his argument on the concerns of the defense.

Several illegalities, especially in the detention of the defendants, were invoked by the defense in the first session.

For Friday's hearing, after the session was suspended this Thursday, the defense "is considering at the hearing and we will see".

"We are going to appear there so that we can in fact find out what the court's position will be in relation to situations relating to the defense's claims", stated Francisco Muteka.

"The MP has an obvious position, as is already known, he is a party and defends his accusation at trial and the defense too, which is to defend the defendants' rights, now there must naturally be an impartial court", he reiterated.

The lawyer also asked for "correct management" of the court throughout the hearing environment and "including giving the lawyers and the MP a word whenever they request and perhaps analyze and consider or even defer".

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

Regarding the defense's request for the hearing of current and former rulers, Francisco Muteka said that it appears in the "sense of helping to clarify and the court to find the discovery of the material truth".

"So that a fair trial can be carried out and in accordance with the expectations of fair application of the law. The complexity of the process itself leads us to request these people and entities", he justified.

The lawyer also confirmed that there was no auction of the assets seized in the case, not by the will of the MP, but by a set of procedures that the defense took into account to prevent it.

"The auction did not actually take place, because there were several legal instruments that the defense resorted to in order to prevent this auction, so much so that the defense of Major Pedro Lussati filed an injunction with the civil court to prevent the same auction from taking place and denounced the act to the President of the Republic", he concluded.

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.


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