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Beatriz Buchili, Attorney General of Mozambique. File photo: DW
The Mozambican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has sent to court charges against 20 defendants on the basis of sufficient evidence of a crime in the contracting of hidden debts in favour of three state companies.
In a press release released on Friday (22.03), the Mozambican Attorney General’s Office says that the accused are among the 28 people constituted ‘arguidos’ (officially named suspects] in the case. Ten of the defendants were subject to coercive measures, nine of them being currently detained and one awaiting trial on bail.
The 20 defendants are charged with passive corruption for wrongdoing, embezzlement, money laundering, association to commit crime, abuse of trust and blackmail. They are also accused of abuse of office or function, falsification of documents and use of false documents.
The PGR reports that 15 properties, six vehicles, a heavy construction machine and 31 bank accounts have been seized because there are indications that they were illegally obtained by the defendants and are related to the crimes they are accused of.
Gathering of evidence continues
The PGR says that the making of copies was ordered and an independent proceeding was instituted for four of the defendants, one of whom was detained in South Africa.
“We continue to develop evidence-gathering actions at home and abroad, and are also awaiting responses to requests for legal assistance, in the context of international legal and judicial cooperation, with a view to holding all those involved accountable”, the PGR communique reads.
Nevertheless, the PGR has abstained from filing charges in the case of four people because of insufficient proof of their involvement.
The case is linked to the provision of guarantees of more than two billion Euros by the previous Mozambican government in favour of three state companies linked to maritime safety and fishing without the knowledge of the Mozambican Parliament and the Administrative Court.
Part of the money allegedly used for bribes
US prosecutors, who are also investigating the case, allege that part of the money was used to pay bribes to Mozambican state officials and international bankers.
Among the detainees is Ndambi Guebuza, son of former Mozambican president Armando Guebuza, and his former private secretary Inês Moiane, as well as former leaders of the Mozambican intelligence services.
In South Africa, former finance minister Manuel Chang has also been detained, since December 29, at the request of a US court which hopes to extradite him to the US as part of its own hidden debts investigation.Source: Deutsche Welle