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"Zeca Mutchima" defense denounces difficulties for a month to see his client in Luanda

The defense of the leader of the Portuguese Protectorate Movement Lunda Tchokwe (MPPLT), José Mateus “Zeca Mutchima” this Thursday denounced constraints to contact his constituent, detained for 10 months in Luanda, with no trial date yet.


Speaking to Lusa news agency, lawyer Salvador Freire said that he received the court's ruling more than a month ago, waiting for the trial to be scheduled.

The MPPLT leader was arrested on 8 February this year, accused of the crimes of association of evildoers and armed rebellion, following the incidents recorded on 30 January, in Cafunfo, Lunda Norte province, in an attempt to hold a demonstration, which resulted in several deaths.

"We are waiting for the court to tell us when it will be judged, however, to date there is no information whatsoever and he is still in Luanda, although ill, and now we are having difficulty in contacting him", highlighted Salvador Freire.

According to the lawyer, the Criminal Investigation Service of Luanda does not allow him to visit "Zeca Mutchima", placing responsibility on the National Criminal Investigation Service.

"A month ago, the services made it difficult for us to contact him, arguing that they only have custody of him and the matter should not be resolved with the Luanda Investigation Service, but with the national investigation service, we address they, we explain the situation and they also say that it is not their responsibility, and so far we do not know who we should contact," he stressed.

Initially "Zeca Mutchima" was detained by the national Criminal Investigation Service, but due to the lack of conditions and because they are temporary prisons, he was transferred to the Luanda service, the lawyer said.

Salvador Freire said that his client is in excess of preventive detention and all the steps taken to date have not worked.

"We've already written to the court, to the Public Ministry about his excessive preventive detention, we made 'habeas corpus', unfortunately, neither of the requests we made were met, just silence and they say we have to await the judgment, this clearly demonstrates that we are facing a process with invisible hands, there must be someone who gives orders, and as such it is a political process", he stressed.

Also without contact with "Zeca Mutchima", continued the lawyer, his family members "are extremely concerned, especially with his health".

"The Luanda Investigation Service is unable to give you treatment in terms of medication or consultations, family members and the defense, from time to time we take some drugs, but we think that it is not enough, it should be available to a cardiologist to be able to determine and prescribe what you need at this time," he explained.

About the incident, the police informed, at the time, that around 300 people linked to the MPPLT, which for years has defended the autonomy of the region rich in mineral resources, tried to invade, in the early hours of January 30, a police station in Cafunfo and in defense order and security forces killed six people.

The police version is contradicted by MPPLT leaders, opposition political parties and local civil society, who speak of more than a dozen deaths.

"Zeca Mutchima" is named by the authorities as the head of the alleged "act of rebellion", which for local citizens was a "peaceful demonstration".


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