Ver Angola


Major Lussati has assets of more than 100 million and does not need “fraudulent money”, says lawyer

Major Pedro Lussati's lawyer said this Tuesday that the defendant's assets amount to more than 100 million dollars and that he "did not need" to receive bags of "fraudulent" money.


Francisco Muteka, who presented his allegations in court, following the arguments of the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP), said that "it was proved", in the course of the production of evidence, that his constituent "had nothing to do" with the management of the Cuando Cubango Road Transport and Demining Battalion.

"It has been proven here that the defendant Pedro Lussati had nothing to do with the management of the Cuando Cubango Road Transport Battalion, contrary to what the MP said here, nothing, he did not receive bags [of money]", said the lawyer.

According to Pedro Lussati's representative, he "never and never needed" to receive bags of money, as the prosecution alleges, as he was a businessman who carried out his activity normally.

"You are a businessman, you carried out your activity normally, and the assets of the defendant Pedro Lussati at this time must be around more than 100 million dollars, he did not need to receive about 25 million kwanzas", he stressed.

"He doesn't need to, because it didn't concern him, he wasn't responsible and he wasn't even high ranking in the structure of the Military House [of the President of the Republic of Angola] and he wasn't even a friend of co-defendant Manuel Correia", he argued.

Manuel Correia, colonel and former commander of the Cuando Cubango Road Transport and Demining Battalion, assigned to the Security House of the President of the Republic, said last September that he delivered monthly to the defendants Pedro Lussati and Edmundo Tchitangofina, fugitive defendant, cash bags containing between 24 and 25 million kwanzas.

The money was allegedly the battalion's salary surplus and was the result of "ghost employees" inserted in the unit's salary sheets, the result of a "fraudulent scheme", which also benefited some generals, namely Eusébio de Brito and António Mateus Júnior de Carvalho " Dilangue".

Eusébio de Brito, named as a witness, denied in court that he received bags of money from Manuel Correia and said that he only met Major Pedro Lussati through the media.

This Tuesday, the representative of Pedro Lussati, considered the head of a group of military and civilians, who set up a fraudulent scheme in the Security House of the President of the Republic and defrauded the State in millions of dollars, considered the accusations "false and ambiguous".

"It has not been proved here, in terms of the production of evidence, and the witnesses present here truthfully declared the matter of delivering the bags, it was not proved, the defendant Manuel Correia was completely unmasked by his driver who said he did not know the major Pedro Lussati", he said.

The principle of the presumption of innocence "is a structuring and founding principle of the criminal procedure, it is a principle that guides its entire phase, and here the MP claims the discovery of the material truth, evoking the reversal of the burden of proof, which such ambiguity, it's not up to Pedro Lussati", he maintained.

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 vehicles.

Muteka recalled, in his oral arguments, that seven suitcases with large sums in the order of 60 million dollars were stolen from Pedro Lussati's residence, and in these they also contained "very important" documents.

"The MP seeing Pedro Lussati incarcerated says that Pedro Lussati had to prove his own innocence before this court? Did he have to prove before this court that he did not acquire his assets illegally in jail? With the evidence illegally obtained, it is in these terms?", asked the lawyer.

In the course of his arguments, Francisco Muteka refuted all the accusations, as they were riddled with "such procedural falsehood and irregularities", referring that the MP's allegations "seem to be a thesis of political philosophy".

"It was proved that Pedro Lussati did not prepare salary sheets, but that he only printed those that came from the units. The evidence in the records is zero, just mere allegations", he pointed out.

Francisco Muteka also asked the judge in the case not to condemn Pedro Lussati "on an ambiguous charge".

The MP asked for the continuation of the charges and "maximum condemnation" to Major Pedro Lussati and the remaining 48 co-defendants for acting in "bad faith", in "willful manner" and defrauding the State in millions of dollars.

The trial of the mediatic Lussati case continued this Tuesday in the 3rd section of the Luanda District Court with the presentation of oral arguments by the MP and the defense, at which time the prosecution reaffirmed that the accused were involved in a fraudulent scheme at the Casa Militar of the President of the Republic.

According to the MP, in their allegations, Major Lussati, considered the leader of the group, and the other co-defendants acted "willfully and knowingly" at the time of the facts, between 2008 and 2018, and "each worked at their own level" to defraud the Angolan State.

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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