Angola: Supreme Court Lists Former President As Deponent

Luanda — The Supreme Court (TS) on Monday agreed to the request of the four defendants involved in the "USD 500 million case", to file in the case as deponent the former President of the Republic, José Eduardo dos Santos.

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"Caso 500 Milhões" case lawyers

The petition was made by the lawyers of Valter Filipe Duarte da Silva, former governor of the National Bank of Angola (BNA), Jose Filomeno de Santos "Zenu", at the time of the facts Chairperson of the Sovereign Fund of Angola, Jorge Gaudens Pontes Sebastião and António Samalia Bule Manuel, during the first hearing session and discussion of the trial.

In a preliminary note, the attorney of former BNA Governor, Sérgio Raimundo stated that the request for the hearing of José Eduardo dos Santos arises out of respect for the principle of inquisition and material truth.

"In order to confirm whether or not it was intended, my client was ordered to carry out the operation which was the subject of that proceeding and for what purpose and terms," the defense lawyer justified.

Given the absence of José Eduardo dos Santos from the country, due to health issues, the lawyer suggested that the hearing should be done through a questionnaire prepared and sent to the deponent.

In compliance with the contradictory principle, the TS requested the prosecution's pronouncement, and Prosecutor Pascoal Joaquim considered such a petition unnecessary, because "the records and the procedural documents contained therein are clear and sufficient proof."

In the face of disagreement, the TS intervened and upheld the defense request, and the Court should create the legal conditions for the intended hearing to take place.

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