Ver Angola


Amnesty law proposal is more restricted and reduces potential beneficiaries, considers lawyer

Angolan lawyer José Carlos considered this Wednesday the amnesty bill, which allows for the pardoning of crimes with sentences of up to ten years, more restrictive than the current legislation, which covers crimes punishable by up to 12 years.


José Carlos, a member of the National Council of the Angolan Bar Association (OAA), considered that the amnesty law proposal, approved this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers, is not intended to facilitate departures, but covers "all those individuals who have committed crimes for which the penalty is less than ten years" and which do not fall within the exceptions provided for.

The bill, which is now going to the National Assembly for discussion and approval, excludes, for example, crimes of vandalism, incitement to public disorder and against the security of the State, crimes of rape, drug trafficking crimes and of persons, homicide or firearm crimes, embezzlement, corruption and money laundering, aiding illegal emigration and environmental crimes.

"In the law that is still in force, amnesty crimes were those with a penalty of up to 12 years. At the moment what we see is that this law tightens a little more, it reduces a little more the level, the circle, of the eventual beneficiaries" , said the lawyer.

José Carlos took the opportunity to clarify possible misinterpretations of the crime of embezzlement, noting that in the current law it was implicitly covered as a crime that could not be the target of amnesty, "because embezzlement was punishable by up to 16 years and crimes that could be are only those with penalties up to 12 years".

"Today it has been lowered, these are crimes with a penalty of up to 10 years, but expressly, and precisely to avoid any kind of speculation and/or doubt, in the exceptions, that is, in crimes that are not amnesty - and even because today we have the embezzlement of use, whose penalty is quite lenient - it already says: the crime of embezzlement is not an amnesty", he observed.

Regarding the question of the goods seized in favor of the State, José Carlos stated that "it is not clear that, once seized, these goods actually revert to the State".

José Carlos emphasizes that article 5 of the draft law safeguards those who, after the criminal proceedings, must be returned to those who legitimately must possess or claim them.

"So, in my opinion, it has nothing to do with protection of legalization of anarchic or illegal seizures, as we want to call it, it is not the case", he underlined.

Tchizé dos Santos, daughter of former president José Eduardo dos Santos, said on social media that "the amnesty aims to legalize the assets that were delivered to the Carrinho, Omatapalo groups, which were illegally removed, without a fair justice that would give fair verdicts." ".

"What these people want is to legalize the assets in their favor, through an amnesty (...) this amnesty is to legalize a government robbery", accused the former MPLA deputy, who, in the last general elections, held in August, supported the UNITA candidate against the President, João Lourenço.

Some sons of José Eduardo dos Santos, in particular Tchizé dos Santos and Isabel dos Santos, a businesswoman targeted in several judicial proceedings in Angola and abroad, complain of persecution by the President, João Lourenço, and have lived outside Angola for several years. years old.

At the end of October, the President transferred to the State, through nationalization, the shares of Vidatel and Geni in the telecommunications operator Unitel, which were held by the businesswoman Isabel dos Santos and by General Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, known as "Dino", from the close circle of the former president, making the Angolan State holder of the total share capital of Unitel.

The Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Marcy Lopes, in statements to the press, indicated that the proposal presented by the government aims to give amnesty to all common crimes with a prison sentence of up to ten years, committed by nationals or foreigners, with some exceptions in the typologies of crimes, in the period between 12 November 2015 and 11 November 2022.

The minister of Justice and Human Rights stressed that the legal diploma also proposes that military crimes punishable with a prison sentence of up to ten years be granted amnesty, with the exception of intentional crimes, committed with violence and which resulted in death.

"A generic pardon is also provided for the perpetrators of crimes that have not been covered by the amnesty and this pardon is on the order of a quarter of the penalty that was applied to these citizens", he stressed.

According to Marcy Lopes, the proposal does not cover intentional crimes committed with violence or threats to people, which resulted in death or when a firearm was used, that is, violent crimes.

The list of crimes not covered also includes high-level drug trafficking, trafficking in persons or sex trafficking in persons, trafficking in weapons and war ammunition, penetrative sex crimes, sexual crimes against minors or those who have been committed through sexual assault and the crimes of promoting and aiding illegal immigration.

Crimes of embezzlement, money laundering, environmental crimes, those resulting from vandalization, destruction or deprivation of public goods, against the security of the State, which do not admit parole under the law, those of incitement to public disorder, to insurrection and coups d'état and crimes that are imprescriptible under the terms of the Constitution and the law are also not amnestied.

"Likewise, property crimes whose damages have not been repaired are not covered or covered by this amnesty law", the minister said.

Marcy Lopes highlighted that the assets that have been seized in criminal proceedings that are now amnestied are declared forfeited in favor of the State.

"The exception is that, if these assets are titled or owned by a third party, these assets are not lost in favor of the State and must be returned to their normal and common owner", he clarified.


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