The Attorney General’s Office and Business Blackmailing
I am writing this letter from a hospital bed as a citizen who has been persecuted for years by the Attorney General’s Office which you lead.
In 2013, some women who had had children with my father Valentim Amões — the late businessman and member of the [ruling] MPLA Central Committee – as well as one of my paternal uncles, made public statements against me, and filed several lawsuits against me as the firstborn and court-appointed administrator of the estate in a dispute over the inheritance my father had left.
The lawsuits against me served as an excuse for the Attorney General’s Office, without any valid reasons, to hastily make me formerly a suspect, and to subject me to the following restrictions: (i.) [required to declare identity ] and residence; (ii) denied freedom to change address (without authorization) or to leave Luanda or the country; (iii) Required to report to the authorities every two weeks. In addition, my passport was seized. I have been placed under these restrictions for the last two years without any formal charges.
In a blatant abuse of power, I was, while in the fourth and seventh month of a pregnancy, interrogated for 14 hours straight [each time]. By preventing me from leaving the country, I was forced to undergo medical examinations at Lucrecia Paim Maternity at a point in the pregnacy when it was not proper for the unborn to be subjected to such procedures. The male public prosecutor in charge of my case insisted on being present during the procedures. Furthermore, the Attorney General’s Office, without any evidence, tainted my name by freezing all bank accounts linked to the Group Valentim Amões to prevent me from “embezzling the inheritance money”…
Later, once again pregnant, I asked for permission to go to South Africa for medical reasons. The National Directorate of Investigations and Penal Action [of the Office of the Attorney General] authorized me to leave on June 17, a Wednesday, [official authorization no 000593/15}. Three days after, on a Saturday, the same authorization was annulled. When I went to the airport with my husband and son, I was, among other things, detained and humiliated.
Attorney General, after a person is investigated, if there is evidence for such, the person should be judged (in the period stated by the law). This is a basic principle for all persons and can be understood without any reference to the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Angolan Constitution.
I am not writing you to absolve me or to convict me; as you would not be able to take either action. I am writing to say that I have had enough.
Since January 2014, I have been investigated, persecuted, constrained, and prevented from moving on with my life. It is said that there are several court cases against me.
That might as well be the case. The problem is that nothing is happening. I have not been charged or cleared; however, I have already served a two-year sentence during which time I have not been able to lead a free or dignified life.
I am, today, a citizen whose life is in abeyance; my rights have been curtailed without any plausible reasons. Any lawyer who analyzes this case will be astonished by the illegalities from an institution whose constitutional mission is to uphold the law.
The ombudsman and other entities have asked why has the Attorney General’s Office violated my rights so blatantly. Yet, your office remains silent – thus approving a glaring injustice.
My Uncle, one of the plaintiffs, approached my mother saying the case against me would end if she stopped claiming half of my late father’s estate. This leads me to ask whether we are dealing with an attempt at blackmail. Is the justice system now in the hands of private entities? I find it hard to believe that this is the case. I want justice, and to be able to defend myself.
Angola is a country with a high mortality rate in which one in six children do not live beyond adolescence. And, Sir, you did not allow me to have proper medical care in a risky childbirth.
It is unfortunate that the Attorney General’s Office in my case has given in to interests that are not operating within the law or the democratic system.
It is unfortunate that the Office of the Attorney General has violated my basic rights in my own country.
It is unfortunate that we have here an illegal process that has violated my rights.
General João Maria de Sousa, I am tired of having served a hard sentence without being charged, tried or sentenced. All I know is that the Attorney General’s Office is at the moment being driven by a principle that is outside the law. I am, therefore, pleading with you to observe the law. It is never too late to rectify an injustice.