The trial, which had been suspended in early July due to procedural issues, resumed on Friday, but only for a few hours, one of the lawyers who preferred to remain anonymous told Lusa.
In the mega-trial with 49 defendants, whose visible face is Major Pedro Lussati, assigned to the Military House of the Presidency of the Republic, who was arrested in possession of millions of dollars, euros and kwanzas stored in suitcases, crates and in several vehicles, 36 lawyers participated and more than 200 deponents must be heard.
The defendants, including officers of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) and civilians, are accused of 13 crimes, including embezzlement, criminal association, undue receipt of advantage, economic participation in business and money laundering.
The case began to be judged at the end of June, but after a few sessions, marked by preliminary questions, requests, admonitions, protests and disagreements between the panel of judges chaired by Andrade da Silva and the group of lawyers, the hearings were suspended without the indictment has yet to be read.
The Luanda District Court decided, however, to extend the period of preventive detention of the defendants for another four months, which led the defense to appeal the judge's order.
According to a defense source contacted by Lusa, Friday's session started around 11:00 am and ended up being suspended at 3:00 pm, with about half of the 36 lawyers leaving the Talatona Convention Center, where the hearings are taking place due to the high number of participants.
Lawyers and judges had a disagreement due to the preliminary questions that some lawyers intended to present, which was not authorized.
"The lawyers understand that the preliminary questions must be presented before the indictment is read, because that is when the evidence production phase begins. The disagreement worsened and half of the lawyers left the room", said the same source.
"The court gave the defendants eight days to appoint new lawyers," he added, indicating that the trial should resume on 15 August.