Former Angola President Asked to Testify Against Son in Graft Case

Judges agree that the ex President of Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos must testify in a graft case involving his son.

José Eduardo dos Santos 16062014 editJosé Eduardo dos Santos. (Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br])The president’s son Jose Filomeno, 41 with three others face charges of money laundering and embezzlement. Prosecutors say the four transferred US$500 million illegally into the British bank account of a financing company they founded, according to the national news agency ANGOP. The payment was made in 2017, just a few weeks before the end of dos Santo’s almost four decades long rule.

 Defense lawyers said in a statement that the crimes are “nonexistent” because they followed the orders of dos Santos, reports Bloomberg. They asked that dos Santos be questioned. 

''In order to confirm whether or not it was intended, my client was ordered to carry out the operation which was the subject of that proceeding and for what purpose and terms," the defendants’ lawyer said. The judges agreed. 

Dos Santos has been out of the country for more than five months due to health reasons. But the lawyer of the ex-President, Valter Filipe's, defense suggested that the court send a list of questions to the former head of state, which he could answer in writing, Deutsche Welle reported. 

Dos Santos’ successor Joao Lourenco urged a series of trials to fight corruption since 2017, when he was elected. He has fired both Dos Santos' son and daughter, Isabel, ex-chair of the  oil company Sonangol. 

She as fled Angola, as have other members of the family. She claims death threats prompted her departure, according to the online media portal Modern Ghana.

Angola is ranked one of the world’s most corrupt nations by Transparency International, coming in at 165 of 180 countries.