Mozambique: PGR Seeks to Identify Those Who Threaten Prosecutors

Maputo — The Mozambican Attorney-General's Office (PGR) on Thursday warned that measures are now under way to identify those who have been making death threats against public prosecutors.

A release from the PGR says that prosecutors working on criminal cases and inside the central and provincial offices for the fight against corruption have faced "constant intimidation, including death threats, from unknown individuals, with the purpose of sabotaging the normal course of investigations", particularly in cases of economic and financial crimes.

"Such acts are an affront to the exercise of Law and of Justice", said the PGR and they affect the performance of prosecutors "because of the impact they have on their social and professional lives and those of their families".

Such threats are to be taken seriously - the PGR recalls that one prominent prosecutor, Marcelino Vilanculos, was murdered in April 2016, outside his home in the southern city of Matola.

The threats against prosecutors are criminal acts, the release said, and the PGR intended to bring those responsible to justice.

The release urged all citizens "to refrain from such acts, because only thus will we be able to consolidate the democratic state of law and of social justice".

The most prominent prosecutor to come under threat recently is Freddy Jamal, of the Nampula Provincial Office for the Fight against Corruption, in northern Mozambique, who has been receiving death threats since 23 November.

Jamal has been handling highly sensitive cases - including corruption allegations against the presiding judge of the Nampula Administrative Tribunal, Alexandre Manhica. Jamal's report into Manhica has now been remitted to the Nampula branch of the PGR.

Jamal had also investigated abuses in the Northern Regional Water Board (ARA-Norte), and the theft of over 300,000 meticais (about 4,700 US dollars) from Marrere general hospital.

The threats against Jamal have been strongly condemned by the Mozambican Association of Public Prosecutors (AMMMP) which revealed that this year alone 200 of its members have received death threats.

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