quarta-feira, 19 de outubro de 2005

Ainda o caso do empresário português detido em Pemba...

Corruption Allegations: Judges Under Investigation.

Agência de Informação de Mocambique (Maputo)
October 18, 2005 - Posted to the web October 18, 2005:
The Supreme Council of the Judicial Magistrature (CSMJ), the disciplinary body for the Mozambican judiciary, has announced an investigation into allegations of corruption made by a Portuguese businessman, Amadeu da Costa Oliveira, against two judges in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
Oliveira is one of the owners of the timber company Macaloe, which runs one of the most modern sawmills in Mozambique. He was arrested in the Cabo Delgado provincial capital, Pemba, on 26 August, on charges of fraud, and released on 6 September.
Oliveira, who is currently in Portugal, claims that the most senior figures in the Cabo Delgado legal system conspired to extort 20,000 US dollars from him, as the price of his release.
Those whom he has accused include the judge hearing his case, Hirondina Pumule, the presiding judge in the Cabo Delgado provincial court, Carlos Niquice, and the chief provincial attorney, Sergio Reis.
The CSMJ has taken this accusation seriously enough to appoint the deputy president of the Supreme Court, Luis Sacramento, to head the investigation into Niquice and Pumule. He will be assisted by judicial inspector Valentim Sambo. (The accusation against Reis is a matter for the Attorney-General's office to investigate.)
Certainly there is something extremely odd about the Oliveira/Macaloe case. A detailed investigation made by the Sunday paper "Domingo" showed that the alleged fraud concerned money owed by Macaloe to another Cabo Delgado company, MITI, owned by a man named Mohamade Faruk.
It was claimed that Macaloe's cheques to pay a debt to MITI had bounced. But in fact the money was paid by bank transfer, and on 24 March MITI dropped its case against Macaloe.
So the provincial attorney's office declared the case shelved - and yet Reis continued to pursue Oliveira, alleging that there was still a debt of 60,000 dollars.
According to "Domingo", no investigation into the alleged debt was made, and neither Oliveira nor anyone else was questioned about it until the businessman was thrown into jail on 26 August.
Oliveira claims that he laid a trap for his persecutors.
When they demanded 20,000 dollars, he gave them 10,000 - but in marked notes. He says he told Pumule he would provide the other 10,000 later, and she took a vehicle as guarantee for this payment.
Once set free, Oliveira went to Maputo and was received by Attorney-General Joaquim Madeira: between them they prepared to set a trap for Pumule with the other 10,000 dollars so that she would be caught red-handed. Somehow information about this was leaked to Pemba, and the plan was aborted.
Oliveira then returned to Portugal, leading to claims that he must have used "false documents", since his passport was held in Pemba.
However, when the daily newsheet "Mediafax" asked Pumule to produce the passport, she refused to do so, on the grounds that the case is sub judice. Oliveira insists that he was never asked to surrender his passport.
Oliveira is not resident in Mozambique, but visits the country regularly to deal with Macaloe business. According to "Domingo", he intends to return to Mozambique in the near future - if he does, the claims that he has absconded to avoid a court case will ring rather hollow.
The CSMJ statement also revealed that, in sessions held in late August and early October, it dealt with 20 disciplinary cases. As a result, one judge was sacked, one was retired compulsorily from the bench, and one was ordered not to hear further cases. Six court officials were thrown out, two were demoted and two were fined.
The statement did not give the names of any of these people, or the circumstances of the cases.

Via: allAFRICA.com
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