Ver Angola


MP asks for maximum conviction of the defendants in the Lussati case for acting with “intention”

The Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) asked this Tuesday to maintain the charges and "maximum sentence" to Major Pedro Lussati and the remaining 48 co-defendants for acting in "bad faith", in "willful manner" and defrauding the State in million dollars.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

The trial of the Lussati case in the media continued 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 defendants were involved in a fraudulent scheme at the Military House of the President of 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 state.

"For all that has been said, the MP maintains its learned accusation and, consequently, requires that all defendants be convicted in the application of a sentence within the maximum limit of the abstract criminal framework, taking into account the intensity of the intent", said the magistrate of the MP.

The application of the maximum penalty, he continued, must also take into account the degree of culpability of each one in committing the crime, which is considered "extremely high, to their moral behavior and the circumstances in which the facts occurred".

The number of crimes "and, in competition, their seriousness, the fact that the defendants are proud of the crimes they committed, the appetite for the primitive accumulation of capital to the detriment of the majority of Angolans deprived of employment, occupied by ghosts, when the vacancies should be filled by the right souls", are factors that, in the opinion of the MP, should contribute to the elaboration of the penal framework.

A special relief from the sentence of co-defendant Manuel Correia, colonel and former commander of the Cuando Cubango Road Transport and Demining Battalion, assigned to the President's Security House was also requested by the MP.

"Because it was with his intervention that the MP clarified the illicit origin of part of the money seized from the defendant Pedro Lussati and part of the assets seized from the refugee, but we warn that the special mitigation does not cover the defendant's civil liability", observed the magistrate.

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.

Based on the allegations, the Public Prosecutor's Office reaffirmed the charge for these crimes.

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.

According to the MP, "it is not true" that Pedro Lussati did not prepare the salary sheets for the music band of the Security House of the President of the Republic and the Road Transport and Demining Battalion of Cuando Cubango province.

Co-defendant Pedro Lussati and fugitive Edmundo Tchitangofina inflated the salary sheets "as proved", the magistrate pointed out.

Co-defendant Manuel Correia, stressed the MP, "declared in this court that Pedro Lussati always received bags of money with about 24 million kwanzas.

The "fortune" that Pedro Lussati boasts, continued the MP magistrate, is the result of the "fraudulent scheme" set up in the units assigned to the Security House and with an "illicit and malicious engineering" they displayed the units' salary surplus.

"The evidence shows that Pedro Lussati's business was "leveraged with funds from the Casa Militar", at the time of the events called the Security House of the President of the Republic.

At the level of the Strategic Objectives Protection Unit (UPOE), the Central Supply Base (BCA), the Jackal Unit, the Special Cleaning Brigade (BEL) and the Military Construction Brigade (BCOM), a unit that, according to the MP , was transformed into a family clan, "fraudulent actions" were also taking place.

Those involved, says the MP, also created two "ghost battalions", namely the 6th and 8th battalions, because these "never physically existed, but their salaries were always processed and withdrawn in millions in the BCA treasury".

Regarding the group of co-defendants employees of the Banco de Poupança e Crédito (BPC) of Cuando Cubango, the prosecution highlighted, in its allegations, that they were inserted and also included family members in the Highway Transport and Demining Brigade to fill the places of the "ghost staff", when the unit's salaries began to be banked.

"And it was also proved that these BPC employees also included their relatives and close friends in the brigade's salary sheets", noted the MP's magistrate.

Lawyer Francisco Muteka, representative of Major Pedro Lussati, denied the MP's allegations, considering them "false, ambiguous and without the least bit of truth" and classified the accusation as a "shameful piece".

The lawyer also asked for the FAA official to be acquitted because the MP "was unable to prove the allegations" in the hearings of the trial, which has been going on for three months.


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