Angola’s justice minister “stupified” by Portuguese insistence to press ahead with corruption investigation

Angola’s justice minister has expressed stupefaction this week at the “disrespect” which he feels Portuguese authorities are showing his country. The reason: the public ministry’s insistence on pressing ahead with Operation Fizz, in which Angola’s vice-president Manuel Vicente faces accusations of ‘corrupting’ Portuguese magistrate Orlando Figueira, by allegedly paying him off to the tune of €760,000, to shut-down two inconvenient judicial inquiries in which his name was involved.

Fizz, and the political embarrassment it has been generating, has been going on since February last year, when Orlando Figueira was arrested by PJ police and held in preventive custody (click here).

At the time, national media suggested suspicions centred on him having shut down as many as 10 inquiries into Angolan VIPs – at least one of them involving former BES Angola boss, Álvaro Sobrinho, currently raising concerns in Mauritius (click here.

With Figueira still under house arrest, Vicente – a strong contender to assume Angola’s presidency – has been affirming his innocence of any wrongdoing (click here).

Thus his country’s outrage that Portuguese authorities could be so disrespectful.

Said justice minister Rui Mangueira: “I am stupified, and even incredulous” that Portuguese authorities are ‘advancing’ with the so-called instruction phase of Fizz, without waiting for guidance from Angola.

The need for guidance follows Angola’s refusal to countenance Portuguese questions regarding
Vicente’s alleged involvement in Fizz, and the referral of the matter to Angola’s Constitutional Court – which is still taking its time deliberating.

Explained Mangueira: “While we are working to give an answer to the solicitations made by Portuguese judicial authorities, those authorities have taken a step towards ignoring that which was established”.

[email protected]

Photo: Rui Mangueira, minister for justice and human rights, taken by Clemente dos Santos