"The excess period of preventive detention of the defendant Pedro Lussati and others who are in the same situation, also note that we are facing a denial of justice related to the 'habeas corpus' addressed to the presiding judge of the Court of the District of Luanda regarding the request for the defendant's immediate release," said lawyer Francisco Muteka.
Speaking at a press conference in Luanda, Muteka reaffirmed that at the moment the arrest of Pedro Lussati "is illegal", considering that the head judge of the case, Andrade da Silva, "has the obligation" to release all the defendants whose deadlines of preventive detention won.
"This is not a position that results from the lawyer's understanding, it is a matter of legal interpretation that results from the law and the Constitution, in fact also saying that Pedro Lussati has been in preventive detention since May 13, 2021", he stressed.
Francisco Muteka filed a request for 'habeas corpus' on Friday at the office of the presiding judge of the Court of the District of Luanda and the judge in charge of the case, due to the "illegal arrest" of Pedro Lussati, asking for his immediate release.
The lawyer recalled that the preventive detention of Pedro Lussati, considered the head of a group composed of the remaining 48 defendants who allegedly defrauded the State in millions of dollars, expired on 6 November.
For Lussati's representative, the deadlines that led the judge in charge of the case to extend the preventive detention to 6 July were "unnecessary and inappropriate" and, therefore, he insisted, the magistrate "has the obligation to release the defendants".
The sentence of this mega case, whose trial began on June 28, is scheduled for this Thursday, and must be preceded by the reading and approval of the questions by the judge in the case.
There are 49 defendants listed, especially the major of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) Pedro Lussati, assigned to the Military House of the Presidency of the Republic, detained in possession of millions of dollars, euros and kwanzas stored in suitcases, crates and in several vehicles.
Pedro Lussati, in the arguments in his defense, refused the accusations and said that the money in his possession is the result of his assets of more than 100 million dollars and that they also belong to his partners.
Lussati said 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 single pair of clothes, a prison service uniform, since he was detained.
The Public Prosecutor's Office asked, in the allegations, to maintain the accusations and "maximum sentence" of Major Pedro Lussati and the remaining 48 co-defendants for acting in "bad faith", in "willful manner" and defrauding the State of millions of dollars.
Upon reading the judgment, Francisco Muteka said that Lussati's defense is "serene and calm", believing in the "acquittal" of the accused of all the crimes for which he responds.
"And to say here that the defendant could be acquitted due to insufficient evidence, in fact this has always been the defense's position", he stressed.
"It's not normal, but the defense may be surprised by a possible conviction for what we already know about the way the hearings took place and especially the fragility of our justice system, but then we can appeal the decision, let's wait", he said.
Muteka, who declined to talk about whether the Lussati trial has a political slant, nonetheless condemned the major's public trial, calling for "fairness" in the judge's decision.
"We must fight corruption, but respecting rights, we must fight crime respecting constitutional principles and precepts, we must fight corruption, but safeguarding all the guarantees of the defendant in the process", he defended.
"And in the specific case, the court has the obligation to comply with what the Constitution and the law say", concluded Francisco Muteka.
The defendants, including FAA officials and civilians, are indicted for crimes of embezzlement, criminal association, undue receipt of advantage, economic participation in business, abuse of power, fraud in transportation and others.