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Sao Tome Public Prosecutor asks for external inspection of the process of 30 million from Angola

The Sao Tome Public Ministry has asked for an external inspection of the 30 million dollars process that took place during the government of former prime minister Patrice Trovoada, which was archived in 2019, a source in the National Assembly said, after consultation with the Attorney General of Republic.


According to the president of the first specialized commission of the São Tomé parliament, Raul Cardoso, the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), Kelve Nobre de Carvalho, said this Tuesday to the deputies of the commission that at "any moment there will be external inspection" to the process to help you better understand "and know if the archiving logic is the right one".

The São Tomé justices closed the case of alleged corruption involving the current President, Carlos Vila Nova, and the former minister Américo Ramos, within the scope of a credit of 30 million dollars, while procedures are taking place in Angola, a judicial source explained to Lusa, in April.

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 ended with a filing order. Given the origin of the money, another part was referred to international cooperation in the criminal matters for Angola, where joint work has been carried out with the Angolan authorities".

"We understand the prosecutor's explanations. Now, the prosecutor tells us very well that it is a complex process and it is a process that he (the Public Prosecutor's Office) has already requested for an external inspection of this process. tell us that there are aspects [of the process] that must continue under investigation, but we cannot say what the inspectors' position will be, that will be up to them after exhaustive consultation of the process", explained Raul Cardoso.

The president of the specialized commission of the National Assembly also said that "the Public Ministry is fully available to make the process available" to deputies for consultation, but they will not be able to do anything as the process is shelved.

"We were clarified with what was made known to us by the prosecutor who was accompanied by the complete dossier on this process, which are several dossiers of many investigation documents that were carried out with the collaboration of the Portuguese judicial authorities", he advanced.

However, Raul Cardoso said that "there are parts of some crimes that were certainly committed", which are "of a financial nature" that the Court of Auditors will also be responsible for helping the deputies to understand.

The president of the specialized committee of the parliament explained that the hearing this Tuesday of the PGR follows the information disclosed in March by the Angolan journalist Rafael Marques, after his visit to São Tomé.

On his blog 'Maka Angola', Rafael Marques published an article entitled "Angola and the Hidden Debt of São Tomé", indicating that on 25 July 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 to the account of the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe in the Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos ".

"This amount was part of a credit agreement, totaling 30 million dollars, between the China International Fund (CIF) and the Sao Tome government. The remaining 20 million dollars 'disappeared', 'disappeared', have 'evolved', and the government of São Tomé does not know how to ask for them, or who to pay the debt of 10 million dollars. A case that is at least ridiculous, and which involves Angola through the [state ] 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 due to be repaid by 2036, after a five-year grace period, with an annual interest rate of 1 percent.

"China-Sonangol Investment is a consortium between the Angolan oil company Sonangol and CIF, forming part of a web 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 researching the database of the legislative process, 'any proposal for a resolution' about the loan agreement between the State of São Tomé e Príncipe and the CIF", although Sao Tome legislation provides that "loan agreements to the State of Sao Tome and Principe must be submitted for approval" by parliament.


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