Mozambique: Kidnap victim released - AIM report
Judge Efigenio Baptista of the Maputo City Court on Monday postponed for three days a hearing on the demand by the Public Prosecutor’s Office to seize the property of several of the 19 defendants in the case of Mozambique’s “hidden debts”.
Last week, Baptista announced that Monday’s session of the trial would be devoted to the seizure demand tabled by Public Prosecutor Sheila Marrengula.
It is believed that the property held by the accused was illicitly acquired from the bribes paid by the Abu Dhabi based group, Privinvest. The prosecution wants the defendants to pay the Mozambican state compensation of 2.9 billion US dollars, which will go some way towards repairing the damage caused by the “hidden debts”. Doubtless a slice of this compensation will come from the property seized from the accused.
But no decisions could be taken on Monday, because lawyers for several of the accused protested that they had not been properly notified of the seizure orders. They claimed they had not received key documents concerning the proposed seizures.
Baptista thus had little choice but to reschedule the hearing for Thursday morning.
Much of the list of assets to be seized, submitted by the prosecution, consists of property owned by Antonio Carlos do Rosario, once the head of economic intelligence in the country’s security service, SISE.
More than 40 houses, apartments and other buildings supposedly owned by Rosario are on the list of goods to be seized. These are properties registered in Rosario’s own name, or in the name of companies he controlled, such as Txopela Investments, Indico Property and Mabasso Hotel. The prosecution believes these companies were vehicles for money laundering.
Rosario is the owner of 30 flats in a building known as “Xenon Urban Apartments” on Julius Nyerere Avenue in the heart of Maputo. In the same building, Rosario owns a shop on the ground floor, an auditorium, an office and a meetings room.
The prosecution says that Rosario also owns a central Maputo house, on Ahmed Sekou Toure Avenue, five apartments and a warehouse in the outlying Maputo suburb of Zimpeto, and four buildings in the central city of Quelimane.
He is also the registered owner of a two storey building, still under construction, in the upmarket neighbourhood of Belo Horizonte, just outside Maputo. He holds the rights to 16 plots of land in Belo Horizonte, one in the Maputo coastal suburb of Costa do Sol, and one in Pebane district, in Zambezia province.
The prosecution also wants to seize 16 plots of land registered in the name of Renato Matusse, once a political adviser to former President Armando Guebuza, and a house owned by Matusse in Limpopo district, in the southern province of Gaza.
From Ines Moiane, Guebuza’s former private secretary, the prosecution wants to seize a house in the Maputo suburb of Triunfo, a plot of land in the Polana Canico neighbourhood and an events hall named “Quinta Happy” (“Happy Farm”) in Matola-Rio, just outside the capital.
Also on the list are three buildings registered in the name of Cipriano Mutota, the former director of the SISE Studies Office, two in Maputo city, and one in Marracuene district, in Maputo province.
Of the other accused, Teofilo Nhangumele, Bruno Langa, Fabiao Mabunda and Zulficar Ali each stand to lose one house each.