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The Mozambican Public Prosecutor has requested the provisional seizure of assets of the 19 defendants in the main case of hidden debts, the judge in the case said on Thursday.
Baptista said that the lawyers of the 19 defendants will be notified of the order so that they can react.
“It is an order with 40 pages and should be given to the lawyers of each of the 19 defendants. As you can imagine, it’s a lot of paper,” Baptista said.
The judge did not specify the type of assets targeted by the writ, but the prosecution’s indictment refers to real estate, vehicles and bank accounts as assets resulting from the money diverted from the loans in question.
Baptista announced the prosecution’s request at the end of the first day of the hearing of former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, who testified today as a witness in the case of hidden debts.
The judge in the case also announced a period of seven working days for the preparation of closing arguments.
Baptista said he will announce on Friday or Monday the date on which the period will start after Armando Guebuza’s hearing.
The judge rejected the request of the Public Prosecutor, which wanted a period of 15 days for the preparation of closing arguments.
Guebuza said in court this Thursday that the current head of state, Filipe Nyusi, could better clarify details of the economic and financial project that generated the hidden debts.
“There was a group delegated to negotiate. I didn’t need to be the one to know. Who knows, maybe the head of the operative command could clarify better,” he said, alluding to the position Nyusi held at the time, as Minister of Defence.
As delegated by then-President Guebuza, Nyusi led a group designated as the operative command to structure the maritime protection project – which was at the root of the financial scandal.
Yesterday, Guebuza said he was responsible (as head of state) for creating the companies at the base of the project and justified the project on account of threats to the country’s security.
He then referred details to the operative command and “its boss”.