The main lawsuit that the Angolan state will bring against Isabel dos Santos to recover the assets it claims is due to be filed in court in March, due to a judicial vacation, according to a source close to the lawsuit.
The ruling of the Luanda Provincial Court ruling the seizure of bank accounts and social participation of Isabel dos Santos, her husband, Sindika Dokolo, and the president of the Angolan Development Bank, Mário Leite da Silva, is dated 23 December, and the state would have up to 30 days to continue the main action.
But the judicial holidays imply a suspension of the deadline, so nothing should happen until the opening of the new judicial year in Angola, between the first and second week of March, the judicial source said.
An injunction is a provisional judicial measure aimed at safeguarding the interests of the injured parties, for example by stopping the release of property.
“It does not mean that the goods have been confiscated, it is to prevent them from being dissipated or removed from the country and there the State decides to take this measure to be repaid,” said the same source.
Only then will the parties who have been arrested (the daughter of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, her husband, and Mário Leite da Silva, appointed as the business manager of the businesswoman) be mentioned. defense.
According to the judicial source, “all decisions concerning the seizure of property will be resolved in the main proceedings, this is a precarious measure.”
At that time, the State, represented by the Public Prosecution Service will have to prove that certain assets were purchased with public money, there must be documentary evidence.
Asked if Angola requested support from the Portuguese authorities to obtain some of these documents, the judicial source said that “at this stage, bilateral cooperation mechanisms in the area of justice have not yet been activated”, since the target of the arrest was accounts and participations in companies owned in Angola.
Portugal maintains with Angola permanent cooperation mechanisms in the area of justice in terms of information sharing, such as letters rogatory and requests for seizure or tracing of assets, which may be set in motion at a later stage.
The decision to preemptively seize Isabel dos Santos, Sindika Dokolo, and Mário Leite da Silva’s personal bank accounts, as well as nine companies in which the businesswoman holds shares, was made known on December 30, 2019.
According to a statement issued at the time by the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), the daughter of former Angolan President Sindika Dokolo and Mário Leite da Silva celebrated deals with the Angolan state through the companies Sodiam, a publicly traded company. of diamonds, and with state-owned oil company Sonangol, hurting the state by more than $ 1 billion.
The list of arrested companies includes bank BIC, in which Isabel dos Santos holds 25% of the shareholdings, through the company SAR (Sociedade de Participações Financeiras) and 17.5%, through the Finisantoro Holding Limited company in Maltese, and Unitel, with 25% equity interest in Isabel dos Santos, through the company Vidatel, Limited.
BFA bank, with 51% of the shareholdings through Unitel, in which Isabel dos Santos holds 25% through Vidatel, and ZAP Media, with 99.9% of Isabel dos Santos, through Finstar – Investment and Participation Company were equally arrested.
At Finstar the defendants are ultimate beneficiaries of 100% of the shareholdings, at Cimangola II SA, Ciminvest – Investment Company, Isabel dos Santos and Sindika Dokolo are last beneficiaries, at Condis – Distribution Company Angola SA, Isabel dos Santos holds 90% of the shareholdings and Sindika Dokolo 7%.
The companies Continente Angola, Lda were also arrested, where Isabel dos Santos is the last beneficiary and Sodiba – Beverage Distribution Society of Angola, and Sodiba Participações, where the Angolan businesswoman is also the last beneficiary.
With regard to the defendants’ personal bank accounts, the court decreed the blockade at the banks BFA, BIC, BAI and Banco Económico.
Isabel dos Santos has stakes in Portugal in sectors such as energy (Galp and Efacec), telecommunications (NOS) or banking (EuroBic).