Trial Of Ex-President’s Son For $1.5bn Fraud Set To Begin

The trial of the son of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos for allegedly trying to steal $1.5 billion (1.3 billion euros) from the country’s sovereign wealth fund will start on September 25, a court said Saturday.
This is the first time that a member of the former president’s family, which controlled the oil-rich southern African nation for nearly four decades, will be in the dock.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos was arrested last year for allegedly attempting to embezzle Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, which he headed during his father’s presidency.

He was released in March after serving seven months in prison and placed under judicial supervision.

The co-accused who will also go on trial include former central bank governor Valter Filipe da Silva and two others.

They face charges of money laundering and embezzlement.

Zenu was appointed head of the $5 billion fund in 2013, 34 years into his father’s reign.

The current Angolan president Joao Lourenco, who came to power in September 2017, fired him in January 2018.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s reign was marked by corruption, political oppression and nepotism.

Strategic sectors of the economy were awarded to his close allies — including the state oil giant which was placed in the hands of his daughter Isabel.

Despite extensive oil, gas and mineral reserves, the majority of Angolans live in poverty and continue to rely on subsistence agriculture.

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