Ver Angola


Major Lussati's lawyer asks for immediate release for excessive pretrial detention

Pedro Lussati's lawyer, alleged head of a fraudulent scheme linked to the Presidency's Security House, delivered on Friday a request for "habeas corpus" with a view to the immediate release of the major for excessive preventive detention.


Speaking to Lusa, Francisco Muteka said that the last extension of the period of preventive detention, which had a duration of four months, ends on 6 November, so Pedro Lussati should be released on that date, having served 18 months in prison without conviction in the first instance.

The "habeas corpus" is a legal instrument that aims to guarantee freedom in case of illegal arrest or abuse of power.

In the habeas corpus request, in addition to the illegality of the arrest, an investigation is also requested into the falsification of the arrest records and the arrest warrant, since there is a discrepancy in dates.

The document states that a video shown on May 19, 2021 already showed Pedro Lussati, incarcerated before his constitution as an accused, in the face of a "false arrest warrant dated May 24, 2021".

If the request is granted, Pedro Lussati, who was detained on May 13, 2021, according to the measure of "habeas corpus" will be able to freely attend the reading of the sentence, scheduled for November 10.

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.

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 a Security House under his management 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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