Ver Angola


Reading of Major Pedro Lussati's sentence scheduled for 10 November

The reading of the sentence of Major Pedro Lussati, linked to the Security House of the President of the Republic and alleged head of a group that defrauded the State in millions of dollars, is scheduled for 10 November.

: Ampe Rogério/Lusa
Ampe Rogério/Lusa  

The information was provided to Lusa by the major's representative, Francisco Muteka, according to which the hearing was suspended on Monday, after discussion and rectification of the questions, and is resumed on November 10 for the reading of the questions and the sentence.

The case involves 49 defendants, including high-ranking military and civilian officials, allegedly involved in the embezzlement of millions of dollars through a fraudulent scheme of inflated salary payments to "ghost" employees.

The defendants are indicted for the 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 currency trade, prohibition of cash payments, currency retention, forgery of documents, money laundering and the assumption of false identity.

The Public Ministry (MP) asked for "maximum condemnation" for Major Pedro Lussati and the remaining 48 co-defendants for acting in "bad faith" and in "willful manner".

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 compete for the penal framework.

Pedro Lussati was arrested in possession of millions of dollars, euros and kwanzas stored in suitcases, crates, and several luxury vehicles, but he claims that his fortune was built in the business world and that it also belongs to his partners.

In the allegations in his defense presented on the 24th, the major said that he is being used as a scapegoat, in a hybrid war between superiors, asked for the return of his assets and regretted that he has been wearing a prison service uniform since he was detained.

Francisco Muteka, in statements on 24 October, "demanded" the return of his assets, including money, cars, jewelry and apartments seized by the MP.

"Major Pedro Lussati, as well as his defense from the beginning, always asked for the lifting of the seizure of his assets due to the fact that they were illegally seized, due to the fact that there was not enough evidence for them to eventually be able to impute serious crimes against Major Pedro Lussati here", said Francisco Muteka.

According to the lawyer, the need to lift the seizure of Lussati's assets also arises from the fact that "procedural procedures required by law are not carried out, due to the fact that criminal procedural procedures have been seriously violated".

Because "the Constitution and the guarantees of the accused have been seriously violated, in fact, long before he was constituted an accused for the facts that we have already listed above, which are the abduction and kidnapping", he said.

"A warrant completely detached from the formality that the law requires and the Criminal Procedure Code is clear, the rules must be clear and objective, it is as the law dictates and not as someone should understand to do", he criticized.

Francisco Muteka also defended, on the occasion, that corruption must be fought within the limits of the Constitution.

"We must fight corruption within the limits of the Constitution, we must fight corruption within the limits of the law, that the Constitution is respected, that the guarantees and the rules of the game established by the law are respected, that's all," he stressed.

For Lussati's representative, he will be acquitted of the process for "insufficient evidence and because he has no responsibility in the Casa Militar under management as serious as that one".

Pedro Lussati, argued, that "up to the date of the facts, a simple captain and captain cannot have under his management a Security House where he has generals, general officers, high-ranking people who, under the organic statute of the Security House of the President of the Republic have the competence to manage that body".


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