Ver Angola


Court extends preventive detention of defendants in Lussati case for another four months

The Luanda District Court extended for another four months the period of preventive detention of the 49 defendants in the Lussati case, whose trial, suspended two weeks ago, "may resume soon", a defense source told Lusa.


Lawyer Sebastião Fernando, one of more than 30 in the mega-process, said that the judge in the case, Andrade da Silva, extended the defendants' preventive detention on account of the appeal that the defense introduced in court.

"Because the case went up to the higher court, which is the Court of Appeal, that is, as in this period they do not want to release the defendants and as the law allows for an extension of the prison, when the case moves to another stage, the judge appealed this legal principle", the lawyer told Lusa this Thursday.

The defense was officially notified of the extension of the defendants' preventive detention "by an order of the judge in the case", explained Sebastião Fernando, lawyer in the trial that began on 28 June.

The hearings, which were taking place at the Talatona Convention Center, in Luanda, were suspended on 1 July, "due to some requests introduced in court" and to which, however, the court did not "answer".

The Luanda Court of Appeal "must respond" to the appeal against the indictment presented by the defense, at the trial, in order to proceed with the process.

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 leader 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 enrolled in this process, which is also awaiting the reading of the accusations by the Public Ministry.

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

A source told Lusa that the trial could resume soon "because the Court of Appeal has already responded to the requirements introduced to that instance and has already lowered the case back to the judge".

The lawyers in this case decided to continue the hearing of the trial, after the previous protests for alleged partiality of the court, and guaranteed 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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