Former President José Eduardo dos Santos returned to Luanda on September 14 of last year, after more than three years of absence, and remained there for about six months, returning on March 7 to Barcelona, the Spanish city where he lived and where he died, on Friday.
During the period in which he stayed in Luanda, for the last time, he sought to be heard, and even considered holding a press conference in the event of a lack of response from the justice, according to documents that Lusa had access to.
However, he ended up giving his version of the facts involving two of his closest former collaborators, Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior ("Kopelipa") and Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento ("Dino"), in an extensive written statement dated of November 24, 2021.
Earlier, in a letter addressed to the Attorney General of the Republic, Hélder Pitta Grós, dated November 8, 2021, José Eduardo dos Santos asked for "an urgent hearing" in all civil and criminal proceedings involving his name, namely process 12/20, concerning generals "Dino" and "Kopelipa", regretting the lack of response to a first letter, of 4 December 2020, in which he already claimed the opportunity to exercise the adversary system.
Expressing the intention of "contributing to the discovery of the truth", Eduardo dos Santos asked "the favor" of providing the necessary clarifications, "for the last time", to the Angolan authorities, taking advantage of his presence in the country.
A request that he hoped to see granted "within a reasonable period", after which "he undertakes to make them publicly, at a press conference, so that, in this way that the applicant does not want, he can provide the necessary clarifications to the nation".
At issue was the process in which his former trusted men, Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior and Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, whose indictment appeared on the day of his death, July 8, 2022, and was made known in first hand by the site Maka Angola.
José Eduardo dos Santos writes, in the letter consulted by Lusa, that "he saw his right to be heard systematically curtailed, before the publication of any judicial decisions with a defamatory tendency to his good name".
Due to the "silence of the official State authorities and others, with responsibilities for this, he has no choice but to directly exercise his right of defence", continues the letter, which he informed other entities, such as the President of the Republic, the President of the National Assembly, judges of the higher courts and the Ombudsman, presidents of parties with parliamentary seats and presidents of the Episcopal Conference of Angola and São Tomé and the Council of Christian Churches of Angola.
Three weeks later, in view of the lack of response to his letters, José Eduardo dos Santos would end up giving his version of the events in the form of a "sworn statement" in which he sets out his view on the participation of the China International Fund group in the Program of National Reconstruction and the actions of the generals "Kopelipa" and "Dino", as well as the former vice-president of the Republic and "boss" of Sonangol, Manuel Vicente.
Generals "Kopelipa" and "Dino" are accused of several crimes by the justice, including embezzlement, criminal association and money laundering, according to the indictment, consulted by Lusa.
Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias, better known as general "Kopelipa", former head of Angola's secret services, at the time when José Eduardo dos Santos was head of state, was accused by the Public Ministry of embezzlement, fraud for fraud, document falsification, criminal association, influence peddling, abuse of power and money laundering, in a process that involved several companies, including the oil company Sonangol.
Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, known as "Dino", former head of José Eduardo dos Santos' Communication Service and businessman, is accused of fraud for defrauding and falsifying documents, criminal association, influence peddling and money laundering.
In the same case, the companies CIF - China International Fund Angola, Plansmart International Limited and Utter Right International Limited are also accused of fraud for fraud, forgery of documents, influence peddling and money laundering.
Three companies, which, according to the indictment, were part of a scheme set up by the defendants, which damaged the Angolan State in several million dollars.