Ver Angola


Defendant in Lussati case says Presidential Unit financed MPLA election campaigns

One of the 49 defendants in the Lussati case revealed in court that the Presidential Guard Unit (UGP) financed the 2008, 2012 and 2017 MPLA election campaigns and that the body also bribed UNITA militants.


A source in the defense of the case told Lusa this Thursday that the revelation of Colonel Jacinto Hengombe, former head assistant of the former Security House of the President, was made on Tuesday during his hearing for questioning.

In addition to the UGP having borne the expenses of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the 2008, 2012 and 2017 elections, the defendant explained, adding that the President's security body also corrupted militants from the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in the provinces of Bié and Cuando-Cubango.

During interrogation, the accused suggested, in court, that generals Hélder Vieira Dias "Kopelipa", former Minister of State and Head of the Military House of the President of the Republic, in the José Eduardo dos Santos era, and Sequeira João Lourenço (brother of the current President, João Lourenço) then deputy of "Kopelipa".

This Thursday, in statements to Lusa, lawyer Francisco Muteka, defender of Major Pedro Lussati, considered the head of the group, reiterated the need to hear important figures in politics and national security at the courthouse.

"The court in this matter was peremptory in listing them as deponents and, obviously, the court will now proceed with a new agenda so that these people can be heard and help in the discovery of the material truth which is only a structuring principle to find a fair decision in the process", he pointed out.

The trial hearings in the Lussati case, which began last June 28, resumed on Tuesday and continue this Thursday with the hearing of the defendants.

The Lussati case, with 49 defendants, 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 kept in suitcases, crates and in several vehicles.

Francisco Muteka expressed satisfaction with the attitude of the main defendant, during his interrogation, considering that his constituent "only told the truth so that he could eventually contribute to the clarification and determination of what was intended".

"The questions were asked and answered with such serenity, lucidity, calm and the position was quite assertive, in the seat of the hearing, and naturally Major Pedro Lussati will be acquitted of this process", he said.

According to the lawyer, "there is not enough evidence or grounds for the decision to be contrary to what the defense expects, which is the acquittal of Major Pedro Lussati in this case".

Regarding the defendant's complaints that he was used as a "scapegoat" by the high-ranking officials of the President's Security House and the alleged "manipulation" of the images shown by the Public Television of Angola (TPA), Francisco Muteka preferred not to comment.

"I do not comment on questions concerning the object of the process", he said.

Regarding the suspension of some lawyers from the case and their replacement by an official lawyer, a decision by the judge in the case and already contested by the Angolan Bar Association (OAA) for being "illegal", Muteka subscribes to the OAA's narrative.

"It's a decision quite out of step with the spirit of the law and it doesn't fit into any legal precept to appoint an unofficial defender in the terms in which the court ruled," he said.

"Therefore, we completely detach ourselves from this decision that the court had regarding the appointment of the official defender and the suspension of the lawyers involved in the process", concluded Francisco Muteka.

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 abroad, 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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