The son of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has appeared since Monday in a court in Luanda for corruption, the first-ever trial against a member of the family of the country’s former absolute master.
Ex-head of the Angolan sovereign investment fund, 41-year-old Jose Filomeno dos Santos, took his place early this morning in the box of the defendants of the Supreme Court of the Angolan capital with his three alleged accomplices, a journalist found from AFP.
The four men, including former governor of the country’s central bank Valter Filipe da Silva, are on trial for embezzlement and money laundering.
Justice accuses them of illegally transferring 500 million dollars from the Central Bank to the London account of a Credit Suisse agency, in the context of a fraud that would have allowed him, according to the prosecutor general, to divert until at $ 1.5 billion.
Nicknamed Zedu, the son of the former head of state was placed in pre-trial detention in September 2018 and released under judicial supervision last March until his trial.
José Filomeno dos Santos was appointed in 2013 by his father at the head of the sovereign fund, responsible in particular for investing the country’s important oil revenues.
He was fired from his post in January 2018, only months after Joao Lourenço came to power.
« Persecution »
Ex-cacique of the dos Santos regime, Mr. Lourenço surprised the country by sacking most of his predecessor’s relatives from the heads of the country’s institutions, public enterprises and security apparatus, in the name of the fight against corruption. .
A symbol of this cleansing, Jose Filomeno dos Santos’s half-sister, Isabel, was ousted in November 2017 from the position of CEO of the national oil company, Sonangol. Presented as the richest woman in Africa, she is also being investigated for embezzlement.
Jose Eduardo dos Santos led Angola for thirty-eight years of an unchallenged reign during which he put the country’s economy in decisive order for the benefit of a handful of relatives.
The family dos Santos accuses today the government of his successor to persecute her.