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Folha de Maputo (File photo)
Edith Cylindo, one of those charged with the assassination of prosecutor Marcelino Vilanculos, on Thursday, the second day of her trial in the southern city of Matola, denied that she had anything to do with the killing.
Journalists were barred from covering the trial on its first day, but the Maputo daily “Noticias” managed to cover the second day’s events.
Cylindo told the court that she had no person motive for joining the group that murdered Vilanculos in April 2016.
“It wasn’t me who ordered the murder”, she said. “I’m not the material author of this crime and I never had any interest in his assassination. I don’t know why they are involving me in this matter”.
The judge, Samuel Pedro Artur, reminded Cylindo of her statements during the preliminary investigations. Then she admitted spying on Vilanculos for the death squad that killed him. She had followed him from his office in Maputo City to his home in Matola.
According to the prosecution, she had taken photographs of Vilanculos and had given them to another of the murderers, Jose Ali Coutinho, for purposes of identifying the victim.
Cylindo now denied her earlier statements. She said she had been coerced into making them by members of the riot police.
The prosecution noted that more than 2.2 million meticais (about 36,000 US dollars) was deposited in her bank accounts precisely at the time when she was allegedly spying on Vilanculos, between 29 March and 11 April 2016. Of this sum, a million meticais was deposited on 11 April, the date of the murder.
Cylindo, who is a jurist who has worked in commercial banks, and in the Maputo City Financial Directorate, claimed that the money resulted from her own businesses, which included selling clothes, renting out a house belonging to her father in the northern city of Pemba, advising a mining company, foreign exchange dealings and loansharking (the latter two activities are clearly illegal).
The trial has been adjourned and the judge has not yet set a date for resuming it.Source: AIM