Jose Filomeno dos Santos sentenced to five-year jail term

Angola’s Supreme Court has sentenced ex-president’s son Jose Filomeno dos Santos to five-year jail time for fraud.

Judge Joao da Cruz Pitra disclosed this on Friday August 14 when passing the verdict.

Reports revealed that Dos Santos was summoned before the court in December following allegations that he tried to embezzle up to $1.5 bn from the sovereign wealth fund, which he oversaw from 2013 to 2018.

Al Jazeera report however said the court charged Dos Santos with stealing $500m from the fund and transferring it to a Swiss bank account.

He is the first member of the former presidential family to be prosecuted since his father’s resignation in 2017 after leading the country for 38 years from 1979 before he was replaced by his former defence minister Joao Lourenço.

Dos Santos’ co-defendants, the former governor of the National Bank of Angola (BNA), Valter Filipe da Silva, a former central bank official and a business partner of Mr. dos Sanots have also been served with justice after they previously denied any wrongdoing and have been sentenced to between four and six years in prison for fraud, embezzlement and influence peddling.

His half-sister, Isabel dos Santos had her assets frozen in February by Angolan investigators following allegations of mismanagement, embezzlement and money laundering during her stewardship of the state-run oil giant Sonangol.

She reportedly denied the accusations against her and claiming it is politically-motivated “witch-hunt”.

Despite Angola’s vast oil and mineral reserves, the country has been slow in recovering from a 1975-2002 civil war with large part of the population still in extreme poverty with limited access to basic services.

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