Mozambique: Trying Not to Blame Police for Matavel Murder

The trial of the two arrested members of the police death squad who killed Anastacio Matavel on 7 October 2019 will take place in the second week of May, but concern is being raised about judicial decisions already taken which seem aimed at shielding the police from responsibility.

Matavel was head of Forum das Organizacoes Nao-Governamentais de Gaza (FONGA) and coordinator for Gaza civil society election observation. A week before the election his car was fired on in a drive-by shooting, but the assailants were then involved in a crash which killed two of them and injured two others, which made it impossible to conceal their identity, The fifth member of the team escaped and is believed to be hiding in South Africa.

Lawyers for Matavel's family have asked the judge to order the mobile telephone companies to provide records of the calls on 5-7 October by those involved, which they believe will show direct linvolvement to the police. But the judge has refused. Matavel's family demanded compensation from the state of about $600,000, but this has been rejected by the public prosecutor's office on the grounds that the police who killed Matavel were not acting for the state. (AFP, CDD, Moz24h)

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