Mozambique: Police to carry out census of agents
[File photo: Tribunal Supremo at http://www.mafalala.uem.mz/ts/index.php/pt/legislacao]
Mozambique’s Supreme Court has rejected the habeas corpus petitions submitted by lawyers representing Gregorio Leão, António do Rosário, Ndambi Guebuza and Bruno Tandane in the ‘hidden debts’ process, and the defendants will await trial in jail.
Three months after receiving three separate petitions for habeas corpus, the Supreme Court this week dismissed all claims calling for the immediate release of the four defendants.
In the first habeas corpus request, the defence of Gregorio Leão and António do Rosário argued that the arrest of these defendants was illegal, in addition to claiming that the two should never have been arrested for crimes committed during their exercise of functions in the State Information and Security Service (SISE). The defence relied on the Statutes of the SISE, which stipulate that members of the institution cannot be detained for acts related to their work.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the two pleas are unfounded. Firstly, there was no unlawful act in the arrests of the former Director General of SISE and the former director of SISE Economic Intelligence, as they was ordered by a competent authority, namely an examining magistrate.
Second, Gregorio Leão and António do Rosário are accused of common crimes not specific to their activities as members of the secret services. Money laundering, abuse of office or function, association to commit a crime, and passive corruption in an unlawful act are crimes that can be committed by any person and not related to state security activities.
The lawyers of Ndambi Guebuza presented the same arguments advanced by the defence of Gregorio Leão and António do Rosário. In addition to rebutting the two arguments, the Supreme Court said that it had not been proven that Ndambi Guebuza was a member of SISE. In the habeas corpus petition, the defence alleged that the son of former President Armando Guebuza was trained for SISE, but in response to the Supreme Court’s request for information, the SISE board made clear that the name of Ndambi Guebuza was never included in the establishment’s staff.
In relation to Bruno Tandane Langa, the defence requested habeas corpus on the grounds that the defendant had cooperated with the judicial authorities and so should not have been arrested. The Supreme Court rejected the request, emphasising that habeas corpus can only be requested on the basis of arguments provided by law, and that collaboration with the judicial authorities cannot serve as a legal basis for an application for habeas corpus.
By Emídio BeúlaSource: O País