Angolan PGR tried to interrogate Isabel dos Santos in the Netherlands, businesswoman left the country
The Angolan Attorney General’s Office (PGR) tried to question Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the former Angolan president, in the Netherlands, but she refused and left the country, a judicial source told Lusa.
“We learned that Isabel dos Santos was in the Netherlands. We requested, through a letter rogatory, that she be notified of her status as an accused and be interrogated,” a judicial source told Lusa.
Jornal de Negócios advanced, on Wednesday night, that the Angolan justice tried to detain the businesswoman in the Netherlands, in June, what the PGR denied.
“At no time was arrest or detention requested,” said the source from the OPG, noting that Isabel dos Santos, when approached by the authorities “did not accept any notification or hearing, and left the country. On Wednesday, the Attorney General of the Republic, Helder Pitta Gróz, received, at the Palace of Justice, the ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Tsjeard Roelf Hoekstra, and discussed issues in the field of justice, on an occasion when the Attorney General welcomed “the excellent relationship between the two countries.
Helder Pitta Gróz assured, according to a statement from the PGR, “that illicit financial flows have been vehemently combated, with assertive measures for the recovery of assets illicitly removed from the treasury” and considered that strengthening international cooperation and capacity building are “the major institutional priorities.
The daughter of former Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos has been in the sights of the Angolan justice system and other countries for several years, and her bank accounts and shareholdings in several companies have been subject to seizure.
In December 2019, the Provincial Court of Luanda ordered the preventive seizure of personal bank accounts of Isabel dos Santos, her husband, the Congolese Sindika Dokolo (deceased in the meantime), and the Portuguese Mário da Silva, and of several companies in which the businesswoman has social participations, for alleged businesses that will have harmed the Angolan state. Shares in several companies in Portugal were also seized.
In January 2020, the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism also revealed more than 715,000 files, under the name ‘Luanda Leaks‘, detailing alleged financial schemes of Isabel dos Santos and her husband, which have allowed them to take money from the Angolan treasury through tax havens. Isabel dos Santos considers herself the victim of a “politically motivated attack” and maintains, therefore, that she will have neither a fair trial nor guarantees of personal safety if she returns to Angola to defend herself against the charges.
According to the Angolan Attorney General’s Office, several civil and criminal lawsuits are underway against Isabel dos Santos, in which the state claims values in excess of five billion dollars (4.8 billion euros).
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