Ver Angola


Pitta Grós promises a lawsuit against Isabel dos Santos even without statements from the businesswoman

The Attorney General of the Republic promised this Monday that the process against Isabel dos Santos will move forward, even if the businesswoman does not make statements under the international arrest warrant requested by the Angolan authorities.


Helder Pitta Grós, who was speaking in Luanda on the sidelines of a meeting of the Board of Directors, stated that he does not know the whereabouts of the former president's daughter and claims that several attempts were made to hear the businesswoman who, in an interview with the German broadcaster DW and through of her social networks, she has always insisted that she was available to clarify the "untruths" about her, saying that there is no interest in hearing her.

"On the part of the Public Prosecutor's Office there was a series of steps in the sense that it was notified and had knowledge of what was going on", highlighted Pitta Grós who confirmed that an international arrest warrant was issued at the beginning of the month and that the Angolan authorities are working with Interpol to locate Isabel dos Santos

"These international arrest warrants are always handed over to Interpol. Here in Angola we have an Interpol representation and it was this representation that carried out all the necessary procedures up to the Interpol headquarters which, from there, will be disseminated to all the countries that are part" of the organization, he said.

The warrant was issued only now, two years after the preventive seizure of Isabel dos Santos' assets, accounts and shareholdings in Angola and the Luanda Leaks scandal, as the authorities expected the businesswoman to be available to respond.

"We always counted on her to respond to the notifications, we gave her an opportunity to respond, we didn't want to rush anything, we have no interest in things happening with the issuance of warrants, but after almost four years of having the process stopped, stagnant, that's why we decided to move forward," he said.

Asked about the alleged availability of Isabel dos Santos to provide clarifications, Pitta Grós replied: "I never knew of anyone who had given statements through social networks, it would be the first case. If she is available, then she can say the specific place where she is and we can send a rogatory letter to that country for her to be heard. In Holland this happened, she didn't accept it, I don't know where this availability will be".

Helder Pitta Grós confirmed, on the other hand, that the PGR has maintained contact with Isabel dos Santos' lawyers, but stressed that, in a criminal process, the interrogation must be carried out on the person himself, who may be accompanied by a lawyer.

Contrary to what the eldest daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who died in July of this year, said in that interview, Helder Pitta Grós reaffirmed that Isabel dos Santos is the target of a criminal process that is ongoing and that in 2018 there was a first attempt of notification.

According to Helder Pitta Gros, "there was an attempt to notify her at her house in Morro Bento (Luanda)", a notification that was received by her maid and which Isabel dos Santos did not sign.

That same day, she left the country and since that date "several notifications have been delivered both to the law firm (which represents her) and to companies where we knew she had some relationship with Unitel or Zap. There was no response to these notifications ", he underlined.

The official went on to say that, in April of this year, Isabel dos Santos was in the Netherlands and that the PGR, upon becoming aware of it, immediately sent a rogatory letter so that she was notified of her status as a defendant, as well as being questioned by the Dutch.

On that occasion, the former president's daughter was located, "but she did not accept signing the notification, much less being interrogated" and that same day she also left the country.

On the accusations of Isabel dos Santos, who complains that there is falsification of evidence and persecution by the government, the PGR challenged the businesswoman to present evidence in the process.

"If she has this evidence and wants to defend herself, it is in the process that she must do it, it cannot be on social networks or in the media that she will defend herself", she said, promising that the fact of not being heard does not prevent the process continue.

"The new Code of Criminal Procedure that came into force recently allows that in these cases the process can go to court", she stressed, without detailing how long they will wait for a response from Isabel dos Santos. "We are still waiting for Interpol's response," she continued.

Regarding the process of former vice-president Manuel Vicente, Pitta Grós reiterated that he was legally protected for five years for having held a public office, but after that "it will be worked normally".

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