Angolan court overturns conviction of ex-president’s son

Angola’s Constitutional Court has overturned a five-year sentence that had been handed to the son of former president José Eduardo dos Santos for fraud.

José Filomeno dos Santos was sentenced in 2020 for his role in the illegal transfer of U$500 million from Angola’s Sovereign Fund to a private account in the United Kingdom.

He appealed against the verdict in 2022.

In a ruling published on Thursday, the Constitutional Court declared his conviction as “unconstitutional” because it breached “the principles of legality, adversarial proceedings, a fair and consistent judgement and the rights of the defence”.

The former leader’s son, also known as Zenu, was the head of Angola’s Sovereign Wealth Fund from 2013 to 2018.

He was sentenced alongside the ex-governor of Angola’s national bank and three others.

The transfer of the money was agreed in 2017, in the last few weeks before his father stood down as president – after 38 years.

José Eduardo dos Santos was president from 1979 until he resigned in 2017, to be replaced by the man he had handpicked for the job, his former defence minister João Lourenço. – BBC

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