Ver Angola


Defense of the Lussati case accuses court of “passive coercion” against defendants and representatives

The defense of the Lussati case this Thursday accused the Luanda District Court of “passive coercion” against defendants and representatives, as the hearings lasted until late at night, reaffirming that the process “is flawed”.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

"This speed is not good for the process, justice is not done in a hurry, in fact, yesterday [Wednesday] we asked the trial to be held until late at night, which we understand as a passive coercive maneuver both on the defendants and representatives", said this Thursday the lawyer Sebastião Fernando to Lusa.

"[At that time of night] we no longer have our reflexes, so it is not advisable for the hearings to be prolonged, which also endangers our physical integrity due to the insecurity of our neighborhoods", he commented.

Sebastião Fernando, one of the more than 30 lawyers in this mega-process in which 49 defendants are enrolled, said that the hearings continue this Thursday with the beginning of the interrogation of the defendants and it should continue until late.

The trial hearings in this case were resumed on Monday, with the reading of the prosecution by the Public Ministry (MP), after the process had been suspended for more than a month, during which the judge in the case, Andrade da Silva, extended for another four months the preventive detention of those involved.

On Wednesday, the session was marked by the presentation of defense objections.

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.

The accusations presented by the MP "as much as they may have some amount of truth in their imagination, but the way in which the process was instructed is riddled with a dose of vices and when the process is riddled with vices, no matter how real the facts are, process does not proceed", he noted.

"Because the way in which the process was built, how the objects of evidence that the prosecution claims to have were obtained, is all contrary to the rules and we have already appealed, but unfortunately all the requests in this sense are rejected by the judge", he regretted.

The lawyer exemplified the public exposure of Major Pedro Lussati, "shown on the Public Television of Angola [TPA] even before being accused", as "one of the vices of the process, because there was already a pre-judgment in relation to it".

"So, they are incurable vices, because they did not stick to the defense of the defendant's image, because the presumption of innocence fell on them, so, this fact alone, already taints the process and that piece [journalistic] conditions how the position of the court," he said.

"And it's these vices, and what's more, the arrest warrant is after the TPA is presented, which is a very big paradox", he shot.

Sebastião Fernando also criticized the "veto imposed by the judge" on some representatives, who, as a gesture of protest, had withdrawn from the courtroom, regretting the lack of response to the defendants' requests in relation to their representatives.

"Even if they are reconstituted, due to the veto, they cannot appear in the records as representatives, so an official defender was appointed, but the defendants themselves say they do not feel represented", he recalled.

The defendants 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 abroad, illicit introduction of foreign currency into the country, illegal trade in currency and other crimes.


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