Ver Angola


Lussati case suspended until higher court responds to defense complaint

The trial sessions in the Lussati case have been suspended until the Luanda Court of Appeal responds to the appeal on the indictment submitted by the defense, at trial, said one of the lawyers this Monday.


According to lawyer Sebastião Fernando, one of 30 in the process, the hearings of the trial, which began on June 28, were suspended on Friday, "due to some requirements introduced in court and, in the meantime, the court did not respond to them."

"Therefore, an appeal was introduced on these requirements and, as the Criminal Procedure Code says, the claim of this appeal was not answered and, in order to respond to it, the process must be suspended and the higher court should consider that claim, which is in the case of the Court of Appeal", Fernando told Lusa.

"One of the lawyers had filed an appeal in relation to the indictment order and that the court did not respond, neither granted nor rejected, and on that appeal a complaint was placed, this complaint and the appeal must be answered and whoever will answer it will not is the judge of the case", he stressed.

A judge from the Luanda Court of Appeal, the immediately higher instance, must respond to the appeal: "As long as the court does not answer these matters, the trial cannot take place, so this is the key point that caused the hearings to be suspended", he explained.

Sebastião Fernando also admitted that the response from the Luanda Court of Appeal "may take some time, which will also impact the resumption of this trial".

"This can last for some time and who will answer is not the judge of the case, but of another court and it will take time for him to study the process and answer truthfully", concluded the lawyer.

The Lussati case, in which 49 defendants are listed, has as its visible face Major Pedro Lussati, assigned to the Military House of the Presidency of the Republic, considered the head of the group, detained in possession of millions of dollars, euros and kwanzas stored in suitcases, crates and in several vehicles.

More than 200 deponents are involved in this mega-process, whose trial sessions take place at the Talatona Convention Center, in Luanda, and the prosecution is also awaiting the reading of the accusations by the Public Prosecutor's Office.

The initial days of the trial were marked by preliminary questions by the defense and subsequent considerations by the Public Ministry and the judge in the case Andrade da Silva, as well as protests by the lawyers.

The lawyers in this case decided on Friday to continue the hearing of the trial, after previous protests over alleged partiality of the court, and ensured that they "do not fear" the presence of magistrates who participated in the preparatory instruction.

The defendants, including officers of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and civilians, are indicted for crimes of embezzlement, criminal association, undue receipt of advantage, economic participation in business, abuse of power, fraud in the transport or transfer of currency to the foreign currency, illicit introduction of foreign currency into the country, illegal currency trade, prohibition of cash payments, retention of currency, forgery of documents, money laundering and assumption of false identity.


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