19 February 2019

Angola: Deponents of 'Thai Swindle' May Testify Tuesday

Photo: Angop
Body of judges in the Thai swindle case.

Luanda — The Supreme Court (TS) may begin on Tuesday to hear the deponents summoned in the ambit of the "Thai Swindle" lawsuit, a total of 38 people, 32 days after the beginning of the trial that has received a lot of attention from the media.

This possibility is dependent on the creation of conditions by the Court to hear, in what will be the seventeenth hearing session, the last of the 10 defendants who stand accused of attempting to defraud the Angolan State by USD 50 billion. Like other defendants, the Thai Theera Buapeng should have been heard by the Supreme Court's First Criminal Chamber last week, which did not happen because the defendant only speaks Thai.

This situation was "dragged" by the fact that the Supreme Court does not have a translator / interpreter of that language. Last Thursday, the trial spokesman, Lourenço José, assured that a Thai-speaking translator / interpreter would come from South Africa for this purpose, which has not yet been confirmed. In the preparatory phase of the proceedings, Theera Buapeng's allegations were translated by a co-accused (Monthita Pribwai), a situation that the Supreme wants to avoid during the production of material evidence.

If the translator /interpreter has not yet arrived in Luanda, the trial may continue on Tuesday with the 38 deponents listed in the case, which include the former Chief of Staff of the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA), Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda, and the chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Business Bank (BNI), Mário Palhares. It was in the BNI that the Thais citizens opened, at zero cost, an account and later they would transfer the value of USD 50 billion, to allegedly invest in Angola.

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