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Abduremane Lino de Almeida is charged with abusing his office and wrongful use of state funds. His defence argues that the defendant was obeying the orders of his superior, the president of the Republic
The former Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Abduremane Lino de Almeida, is charged with having issued an order authorising the payment of a trip for three people with no links to the state, at the expense of the state.
The three people travelled to Mecca for a religious ceremony. The cost of the trip amounted to about 1,780,000 meticais (around EUR 250,000). De Almeida is also alleged to have benefited from undue aid during the trip.
This Monday’s trial session (03/07) was reserved for the presentation of the final allegations by the public prosecutor and the defence. The latter reiterated that the defendant had no reason to organise the trip to Mecca and that the three persons’ travel resulted from a verbal order from his superior, President Filipe Nyusi.
According to the defence lawyer, Augusto Chivangue, the defendant does not know nor is related to the three people who made the trip. He also denies that he benefited from it. “All that the defendant wanted was to see the orders of his superior duly fulfilled,” he added.
After the presentation of final allegations, Judge João Guilherme said that illegal practices should be combated, despite the existence of irregularities in the functioning of state institutions.
Abduremane Lino de Almeida: statement only after the end of the proceedings
Questioned by journalists as he was leaving the session, Abduremane Lino de Almeida would only say: “The process is not yet concluded so I cannot make any statement.”
Defence lawyer Augusto Chivangue spoke in much the same vein: “The process has not yet come to an end, so I continue as obliged not to speak out. Let’s wait for the final decision.”
The reading of the sentence is scheduled for next July 14. The defendant Lino de Almeida was dismissed as Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs in March 2016, a year after he took office at the beginning of the current term of office of the current president of the Republic, Filipe Nyusi.Source: Deutsche Welle