In the cases of António Bule and Jorge Pontes, the judges of the Supreme Court decided to apply a prison sentence of five and six years, respectively. All defendants were also ordered to pay a fee of 300,000 kwanzas each.
However, the panel of judges, chaired by João Pitra, absolved the defendants of the money laundering charges.
Defendants’ lawyers appealed the Supreme Court’s decision
The defendants were also ordered to indemnify the Angolan State in the amount of more than eight million USD and more than two million pounds (2.6 million USD), an amount that the Executive spent with the authorities in London, through legal action, for recover the 500 million USD illegally transferred from the National Bank of Angola (BNA) to an account at Credit Suisse, in the United Kingdom.
Defendants’ lawyers Valter Filipe, José Filomeno dos Santos, António Bule and Jorge Pontes Gaudens appealed the decision and the court accepted, therefore, the four defendants will await the appeal in freedom, a situation they have been in since the beginning of the trial. .
The Supreme Court devalued the former President’s letter and accepted Archer Mangueira’s statements.
The “500 million case” judges devalued the written statements of former President of the Republic José Eduardo dos Santos, in which he claims to have been the one who guided the former governor of the BNA to transfer the 500 million to London, thus satisfying the position of the representative of the Public Prosecutor, Pascoal Joaquim, who had already asked the court not to accept them because they had not been delivered in person to a judge, and because he considers the letter sent to the court by the former Head of State doubtful, a fact now accepted by the panel of judges.
In the same vein, the judges valued the statements by the then Minister of Finance and the current Governor of Namibe, Archer Mangueira, who told the court that the data presented in London were not sufficient elements to proceed with the 500 million USD operation.
The former finance minister revealed in court on 14 January last, that he was removed without explanation of the process of institution of the investment fund, having been handed the dossier to the then governor of BNA, Valter Filipe.
However, the court found it relevant and considered the fact that the defendants did not return the amounts referred to in the indictment for motu and showed no signs of regret.
The defendants’ lawyers hope “that the appeals presented will be better appreciated by the judges in the plenary session”.
Case started on 9 December 2019
José Filomeno dos Santos “Zenu”, son of former President of the Republic, José Eduardo dos Santos, Valter Filipe, Jorge Gaudens and António Samalia Bule, were accused of money laundering and embezzlement, in the context of the well-known case of the 500 million USD transferred illegally from BNA abroad.
“Zenu” appears in this judgment pronounced for crimes of embezzlement and money laundering following the transfer of the 500 million USD to a bank in London, United Kingdom, in September 2017, whose purpose was to create a strategic fund of 35 billion USD that it should enable structuring projects for the national economy, among other advantages, namely the provision of a large amount in foreign currency – about USD 300 million per week – to meet the country’s foreign exchange needs.
José Filomeno dos Santos, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, president of Quantum Global, a Swiss company that was managing the FDSEA with Zenu, and Valter Filipe, were in custody for about a year, until March last year.
The businessman Bastos de Morais, with dual nationality, Swiss and Angolan, after reaching an agreement with the FDSEA, left the country, shortly after being released, because that same agreement substantiated the withdrawal of all complaints in court against him.