The Presidents of Angola, Joao Lourenco and of Portugal, Marcelo de Sousa held Friday talks over the phone, on the decision of the Lisbon Court of Appeal to extradite to the African country the case of former Vice-President Manuel Vicente, accused of corruption charges.
A note posted on the website of the Angolan presidency says that Lourenco announced “the will” of Angola and Portugal to continue with the cooperation, as a consequence of the decision of the Lisbon Court of Appeal to send to Luanda the process involving Vicente.
The note adds that both statesmen reiterated “the fraternal relations and friendship between the two countries underlining their willingness to develop cooperation at all levels.”
“We congratulated ourselves on the happy outcome of the case and reiterated our willingness to continue with the cooperation between our two countries,” the Angolan president wrote on the social network Twitter.
On Thursday, the Lisbon Court of Appeal decided to transfer to Angola the case of Vicente accused of corruption charges in Portugal.
The Lisbon Court of Appeal considered that the possible application by the Angolan judicial authorities of the Angolan law of amnesty to the facts imputed to Vicente in the Operation Fizz case “would be part of the normal functioning of a mechanism of the Angolan legal system and does not call into question the good administration of justice.”
Manuel Vicente also former CEO of the Angolan state oil company (Sonangol), was supposed to be heard in Lisbon last Jan. 22 on money laundering but Angola wanted to try Vicente itself.
At the time, Portugal’s Public Prosecution Service feared Vicente would have been granted diplomatic immunity if heard at home and so refused the extradition of the case to Angola.
Lourenco called Portugal’s refusal to extradite Vicente “offensive”.
Vicente was among six people standing trial as part of an investigation known as “Operation Fizz.”
“Operation Fizz” revolved around accusations that Vicente paid 760,000 euros (906,550 U.S. dollars) in bribes to Portugal’s former public prosecutor Orlando Figueira. The bribes were designed to halt two corruption inquiries.
Figueira has also faced corruption charges. Enditem