“It is indeed worrying, because if we look at article 1 of this law, which defines the scope and the object of its application, it clearly says that this law only applies in situations which result from convictions in criminal proceedings, but this law is applied in process situations that are at an early stage,” said Sérgio Raimundo.
The lawyer criticized the fact that the aforementioned law is applied during the period of preparatory instruction, “where there is not even a criminal conviction”.
“Therefore, we are faced with a violation of the principle of the presumption of innocence, which is a structuring principle of the entire judicial system in Angola”, declared the lawyer, on the sidelines of the 1st Congress of the Nation: “Thinking Angola, for a common consensus project”, organized by civil society, which started in Luanda.
The SNRA, an organ of the Angolan Attorney General’s Office (PGR), was created by the Law on Forced Repatriation and Prolonged Loss of Property.
The law assigns as “main mission” to the NARS the location, identification and seizure of goods, financial assets or proceeds related to the crime, whether they are in Angola or abroad.
A dispatch from the SNRA, made public recently, mentions the holding of an auction of vehicles seized within the framework of a procedure concerning the former director of the National Institute of Roads of Angola, Joaquim Sebastião, and Pedro Lussaty, an Angolan major detained in possession of various goods, furniture and buildings, and large sums of money, kept in suitcases, boxes and vehicles.
Asked about the “legality” of the auction, since the two processes “have not yet become final”, Sérgio Raimundo expressed his indignation, evoking that “there is even a process in which the SNRA orders the sale of these goods which is no longer available”. “not even within the framework of this body”.
The process “is within the jurisdiction of the judge, so those decisions have to be made and pronounced within the process,” he said.
“We are talking about a democratic state governed by law, it is arbitrary, it is an unacceptable legal atrocity in a democratic state governed by law,” he criticized.
And he added: “It is a usurpation of power, because for the moment the trial is under the jurisdiction of a judge and only this judge can make this decision and not the public prosecutor”.
“I have no connection [com o processo Lussaty] and I can speak freely, a contradictory instruction has already taken place and anyone who knows the least bit of law will know that the contradictory instruction is led by a judge and not by a magistrate from the public ministry,” he explained.
According to Sérgio Raimundo, the law creating the SNRA is also riddled with “incongruities” and recalls that it “clearly says that the person who decrees the seizure of assets or the seizure is a judge, it does not say that it is the PGR”.
What article 9 says, he continued, “is that the public prosecutor compels the judge to seize these assets at any time, but unfortunately our legislator, or through ignorance of the rules of criminal procedure, has adopted a law that contradicts itself. really can”.
Regarding the current process of fighting corruption, one of the pillars of the governance of the Angolan President, João Lourenço, the lawyer considered that “there is no real fight against corruption in Angola”.
“We must undoubtedly find the name to attribute to this process, but less fight against corruption,” he replied to Lusa.
The fight against corruption in Angola “cannot be to arrest people and property, it is not to fight against corruption, it is necessary to identify the causes and attack them”, because, otherwise, “we are fighting the corrupt people of ‘yesterday, but they are new’. the corrupt emerge today”.
“And when another government emerges tomorrow, they will also fight the corrupt of today and the country will continue with its postponed future if we continue to walk in this direction, you have to have courage, be patriotic and frontal and say what we really want,” he stressed.
Contributing to a common project in favor of a “more inclusive, united and democratic” Angola for a better pre-electoral clarification of the proposals of the political forces vying for the legislative elections and to create an environment of peace and harmony are the objectives of the meeting which ends on Saturday in Luanda.
Sérgio Raimundo, who was one of the speakers at the conclave, applauded the event, considering it a “unique moment” in the history of independent Angola: “It is an example that demonstrates that true reconciliation is possible in Angola”.
“Cohabitation is possible between all the daughters and sons of this country and this cohabitation will only be possible if we really have an authentic and inclusive reconciliation, that is, we must think of an Angola for all and for everyone,” he concluded.
DYAS // LFS