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Mozambican courts have formally named three suspects [arguidos] in the case of allegedly corrupt purchase by Mozambican Airlines of two aircraft from Brazilian manufacturer Embraer, according to the Mozambican Attorney General’s Annual Report.
The information, presented by Attorney General Beatriz Buchili to the plenary of the Assembly of the Republic today, states that the criminal case related to the aforesaid case is currently in the preparatory instruction stage.
“Following these facts, which would have occurred between 2008 and 2010, on July 5, 2016, a lawsuit was filed with three formal suspects named and which is in preparatory instruction,” the document reads.
Given the process’s international dimension, the text continues, the PGR has initiated legal and judicial cooperation mechanisms with four countries.
The document states that the corruption scheme involved the payment of US$800,000 (EUR748 thousand) to the three defendants as a condition for Embraer selling the two aircraft to LAM.
“In order to achieve its goals and in view of the impossibility of the foreign company [Embraer] withdrawing such value from its coffers, [a senior manager of LAM] agreed to over-cost the aircraft, and benefit from the difference resulting from the actual price and the one shown on the invoice, ” the PGR report reads.
These negotiations involved the establishment abroad of a company which opened a bank account into which the proceeds of the corrupt scheme were transferred.
“The acquisition of the aircraft was made using a bank loan granted by a Mozambican bank, under guarantees issued by the state,” the PGR reports.
Brazilian court documents released late last year reveal that Embraer paid US$ 800,000 to LAM managers and an intermediary, also Mozambican, for the sale of two aircraft in 2009. The amount was deposited into the account in São Tomé and Príncipe of a fictitious company, specifically created for the purposes of the corruption scheme.
The alleged scheme is part of illicit payments by the Brazilian manufacturer in several countries which obliged Embraer to hand over US$225 million ( EUR210.5 million) to a U.S. court as part of a judicial settlement for the closure of the legal proceedings.
The U.S. court was involved because some of the accounts used in Embraer’s alleged corruption schemes are domiciled on American soil.
What is an arguido?
An “arguido” – normally translated “named suspect” or “formal suspect” – is someone who is being treated by the courts and police as more than a witness, but has not been arrested or charged.
Under Mozambican law, a person declared an arguido – “arguida” in the case of a woman – has legal protection that is not extended to a witness, including the right to remain silent during questioning and the right to legal representation.
Source: Lusa / The Guardian / Wikipedia