Angola: Former Transport Minister's 14 Year Sentence Excessive - Lawyer

Luanda — The defence lawyer who represented Augusto Tomás, charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, said that the 14-year term handed down by the Supreme Counrt is somewhat excessive as it does not correspond with the evidences gathered during the trial.

Lawyer Sérgio Raimundo, who was speaking to the press after the trial judge ruled on the National Shippers Council (CNC) case, said the court based on assumptions to decide on the sentence.

According to him, in no session has been proved that Augusto Tomás misappropriated values or has violated the implementing rules of the State Budget.

The defense lawyers in the CNC case request the court to review and change the decision against defendants, with the exception of Eurico da Silva's lawyer.

Sergio Raimundo said he hoped the plenary of the Supreme Court would review the sentence against the defendants.

Asked about the waiting period for the response of the appeal, he explained that the law does not stipulate a specific time, expressing faith toward speeding-up of the process.

The trial judge also sentenced the former director general of the National Shippers Council (CNC), Manuel António Paulo, to 10 years in prison, the ex- assistant managers of this institution Isabel Bragança to12 years in jail and Rui Manuel Moita to 10 years and Eurico Pereira da Silva to two years in jail.

The trial started this May 31.

The former Transport minister, Augusto Tomás, had been in custody since September 2018.

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