Judiciary Council challenges Attorney General´s Office searches

The Superior Council of the Judicial Magistracy (CSMJ) on Wednesday, in Luanda, considered illegal searches carried out by the Attorney General´s Office (PGR) at the headquarters of the Supreme Court (TS) and the CSMJ.

Speaking to the press, the CSMJ spokesperson, Correia Bartolomeu, said that the institution was aware of searches and seizures carried out at the TS and CSMJ, ordered by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which did not observe the legal procedures.

The searches are based on allegations in the press and media of the involvement in acts of corruption and influence peddling of the presiding judge of the Supreme Court and the Superior Council of the Judiciary, Joel Leonardo.

On 10 and 13 March, the PGR carried out searches and seizures at the headquarters of the Supreme Court and the Superior Council of the Judiciary, which has already set up a working committee to analyse the case.

According to spokesman, Correia Bartolomeu, who was speaking on the sidelines of a plenary session of this body, the same steps culminated with the placing of seals in several compartments of the TS and the CSMJ.

To the source, the Deputy Prosecutor who ordered the act does not have the competence to do so, warning that it would have to be exclusively the Attorney General of the Republic, to order it or who replaced him.

“The law does not allow the Attorney General of the Republic to be replaced by a deputy prosecutor, when he is absent”, argued the source, stressing that there was a failure to observe the procedures provided by law and which must be strictly complied with.

Taking into account the seriousness of the act, he continued saying that the CSMJ decided to create a working commission that is analysing the matter and hopes to conclude the statement.

According to the same source, the law states that in the event of an act likely to result in disciplinary or criminal liability, the Public Prosecutors and Judicial Magistrates receive a report, with prior information to the CSMJ.

On the other hand, the CSMJ spokesperson said that information that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Joel Leonardo, is on the run was false.

On the occasion, Correia Bartolomeu expressed the CSMJ´s willingness to comply with the duty of cooperation with any institution, as long as it is based on the Constitution and the Law.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)