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Judge Ivo Rosa orders the unlocking of Tchizé dos Santos' bank account

The Portuguese Central Criminal Instruction Court unblocked a bank account belonging to Tchizé dos Santos, daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, for “excessive passage” of time and lack of evidence as to the illicit origin of the funds.

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The decision, dated October 12, signed by Judge Ivo Rosa, justifies the lifting of the suspension of banking operations by exceeding the deadlines for the investigation and lack of evidence to substantiate the suspicions.

Weltwitschea (Tchizé) dos Santos' account in the BCP had been blocked by a decision of the Public Ministry on 13 August 2020, on suspicion that the target, who was also a deputy of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in parliament, it would be using the Portuguese system to camouflage the possible illicit origin of funds, taking into account the origin of the transfer (Switzerland) and the lack of knowledge of the previous origin of the funds.

The measure was later confirmed by several court orders and the Public Prosecutor's Office requested the extension of the suspension of banking operations from that account until December 26 of this year, when the maximum period of the investigation would expire due to the suspension of procedural deadlines, although in the case of an investigation of a crime of money laundering, this period was 14 months.

The judge decided, however, to reject, for lack of legal support, a new request for extension of the measure by the Public Prosecutor's Office, understanding that the laws invoked did not apply, taking into account the nature of the period in question.

The document also states that "the suspicious nature of the banking operation and, above all, the origin of the money, despite the time elapsed since the beginning of the investigation and the current moment, remains very tenuous".

The magistrate maintains that initial suspicions about the illicit origin of the amounts in question "are based on the fact that the target is the daughter of the former President of Angola, the opacity of the Swiss financial system and the lack of knowledge of the origin of the funds, that is, the alleged practice of corruption offenses committed in Angola".

However, he stresses, "no investigation was carried out, namely with the Angolan authorities or with the target, with a view to collecting elements relating to the origin of the funds transferred from Switzerland to Portugal".

He concluded, therefore, that in addition to the measure of suspension of the account being extinguished by the expiry of the period, it could not continue active "without anything else coming to the case, even in matters of suspicion".

Tchizé dos Santos, who lives outside Angola, lost her mandate as a deputy in October 2019.

The National Assembly of Angola justified the withdrawal of the mandate with the prolonged absence of the plenary and working sessions.

At the time, Tchizé dos Santos justified his "involuntary" absence from the country due to his daughter's illness and complained that he was being "intimidated" by his party leaders, saying that he refused to return to Angola for lack of security guarantees .

Tchizé dos Santos is currently a digital influencer and created a YouTube channel called "Lifestyle in Portuguese".