Manuel Vicente, MPLA deputy, has been residing in Dubai since June, citing health reasons. The Angolan Attorney’s Office will reevaluate the immunities that protect the former Angolan vice-president from lawsuits.
So far, the country’s former vice president and former leader of state oil company Sonangol, whose name has emerged involved in several corruption scandals, has been safe from criminal investigations, based on the Angolan constitution that grants immunity to former holders of this position, which would only end five years after the end of his term in September 2022.
But, according to a judicial source heard by Lusa, the PGR will ask for a legal reassessment of the vice president’s statute “to analyze the situation and see to what extent it is protected or not”.
In the opinion of some jurists, such as Rui Verde, the Angolan PGR has made a “misinterpretation of the Constitution” with regard to the immunities of former public officials.
The five years would only count if you wanted to file a lawsuit at the time when he [Manuel Vicente] he was vice-president ”, which does not happen in relation to the allegations that have been reported in the press, the lawyer told Lusa last October.
The name of the former president of the Angolan oil company Manuel Vicente, which was investigated in Portugal, appears linked to the company CIF (China International Fund) and the diversion of millions of dollars from Sonangol.
According to Rui Verde, the immunity that is established in article 127 of the Constitution of the Republic of Angola (criminal liability) applies only to crimes committed in the exercise of functions. “At the moment, we are not talking about President and Vice President, but about ex-President [José Eduardo dos Santos] and former vice president [Manuel Vicente] and that Article 127 does not apply there. I think there has been some confusion in this regard, ”said the lawyer and law professor at the time.
Manuel Vicente, who is currently a deputy (MPLA) has been residing in Dubai since June, citing health reasons, an absence that was communicated to the National Assembly and which is justified, according to a parliamentary source.
The same source added that Manuel Vicente has participated in the plenary sessions through videoconference.
Angolan justice has been tightening its grip on the allies of the former President, José Eduardo dos Santos, and in October, defendants General Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias Júnior, “Kopelipa”, and Leopoldino Fragoso do Nascimento, “Dino”, were accused. scope of a process related to contracts between the State and the CIF, through the extinct National Reconstruction Office.
The former heads of the Military House and the Security House of José Eduardo dos Santos, who had already seen two buildings arrested in February this year by the National Asset Recovery Service, handed over to the Angolan State in October several factories, a supermarket chain and housing buildings.
Currently, the two strong men of the previous regime are prohibited from leaving the country.
Angolan public television (TPA) began last week, for the first time, to report on cases of corruption, in a series of reports which it called “O Banquete”.
Manuel Vicente is one of the names that is part of the “restricted group of Angolans”, which includes other MPLA leaders, who “using influences, took billions of dollars from the country”, diverting public funds through millionaire contracts with companies that were beneficiaries, according to analysts.
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