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Isabel dos Santos plans to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights

by ace

Eneias Rodrigues / Lusa

The businesswoman Isabel dos Santos intends to contest with the European Court of Human Rights the decision to seize assets by the Portuguese justice, taken based on the process of the Attorney General of the Republic of Angola.

The information was forwarded to Lusa this Friday by one of the businesswoman's lawyers.

“Due to the existing treaties between the two countries, and to historical ties, the Portuguese court accepted the Angolan decision which was based on false evidence. And it was applied automatically in Portugal. Isabel (dos Santos) and Portuguese law do not have the capacity to change (the action), so (the businesswoman) will contest it in the European Court, ”Dan Morrison, who represents the Angolan businesswoman, told the news agency.

The Public Prosecutor's Office requested the seizure of bank accounts of businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, "in the context of a request for international judicial cooperation by the Angolan authorities", the Portuguese PGR confirmed on February 11 to Lusa.

The decision was made after the Provincial Court of Luanda decreed, in December 2019, the preventive seizure of personal bank accounts of Isabel dos Santos, her husband, the Congolese Sindika Dokolo, and the Portuguese Mário da Silva, in addition to nine companies in which the businesswoman holds stakes, for alleged private businesses that would have hurt the Angolan State.

In this process, the Angolan State, represented by the Public Prosecutor's Office, made an extensive statement in which, in general, it maintains that Isabel dos Santos and her husband used funds, namely from Sonangol, to do business.

In addition to the seizure of bank accounts and shareholdings in Angola, holdings related to several companies in Portugal were also seized.

The British lawyer, a partner in the London-based company Grosvenor Law, assured that he is willing to take legal action "in all relevant jurisdictions" to defend the client and thaw the assets.

Morrison wrote to Interpol

One of Morrison's interventions this week was to write to Interpol for the international organization to investigate the alleged corruption of two agents in Angola referred to in a document in the PGR lawsuit against the businesswoman.

In the document, it is stated that Isabel dos Santos would be in contact with a businessman from the United Arab Emirates to sell the stake in the telecommunications company Unitel, who will have requested “remunerated services from Interpol Angola” to investigate the company's situation.

The lawyer questions the veracity of the document, which was included in the PGR process that resulted in the seizure of the assets of the daughter of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, arguing that, contrary to what is suggested, Isabel dos Santos was more interested in buying than selling Unitel shares.

"What I am trying to question with Interpol are serious concerns that basically their name may have been used to justify the Angolan allegations," Lusa Dan Morrison, a partner at London-based Grosvenor Law, told Lusa today.

The suspicion raised by the legal team of the businesswoman about this document, which has no indication of the source nor is dated, joins doubts about more documents, namely the inclusion of a copy of a counterfeit passport signed by the kung-fu fighter Bruce Lee .

“We have already seen the issue of the passport published in the press and how Angola has used fictitious documents, false documents. And we want to ensure that people whose names are being used in Angola to support these complaints are aware of these very serious issues, "said the lawyer.

The “formal legal letter” contained a series of direct questions and Morrison hopes to receive an answer not only from Interpol, but also from the Angolan authorities, who claims to have acted improperly because he ordered the seizure of assets and only made available the documents of it tastes five months later.

“Political motivated attack”

Isabel dos Santos considers that she is the target of a “politically motivated attack” and that, therefore, she has no confidence that she will be subject to a fair trial or that she will be guaranteed personal security if she returns to Angola to defend herself from accusations.

According to the Angolan PGR, several civil and criminal cases are running against Isabel dos Santos, in which the State claims values ​​in excess of five billion dollars (4.6 billion euros).

In January, the International Investigative Journalism Consortium also revealed more than 715,000 files, under the name 'Luanda Leaks', which detail alleged financial schemes by Isabel dos Santos and her husband, which will have allowed them to withdraw money from the Angolan public purse. through tax havens.

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