An official source for Isabel dos Santos told Lusa that her lawyers consulted the Interpol database and did not find any reference to an arrest warrant against the Angolan businesswoman, contrary to information reported on Thursday.
According to a document that the Lusa agency had access to on Thursday, and from which it released a news, Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for extradition in the name of Isabel dos Santos, at the request of the Attorney General’s Office Republic (PGR) of Angola.
According to that document, Isabel dos Santos is wanted on suspicion of “crimes of embezzlement, qualified fraud, illegal participation in business, criminal association and influence peddling, money laundering”, with a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.
In a statement sent to Lusa, and “in view of the published news about the international arrest warrant”, an official source for Isabel dos Santos says she is unaware of any instructions from Interpol and is intrigued by the fact that the businesswoman is being sought, after “almost three years existence of such processes”, in which “a defendant was never constituted”, the same happening with any of its companies.
“Also over these almost three years, (Isabel dos Santos) formally made herself available to provide statements whenever she was summoned, which happened, for example, in a process that ran through terms at Banco de Portugal, where, on two occasions, she provided all clarifications requested.
Isabel dos Santos is also surprised by the fact that the authorities claim that they do not know her whereabouts, since the document justifying the Interpol warrant only indicates that “the businesswoman is usually in Portugal, the United Kingdom or the United Arab Emirates”.
“Strictly speaking, the authorities are aware of her address which appears, by the way, in the powers of attorney that were attached to the processes”, argues the official source, adding that the businesswoman was notified to that same address “in the context of criminal proceedings that run terms in Portugal”.
According to the document that Lusa had access to on Thursday, between 2015 and 2017, the Angolan businesswoman created financial mechanisms “with the intention of obtaining illicit financial gains and whitewashing suspicious criminal operations”, through “information on public funds from the State Angolan” that she achieved as administrator of the state-owned oil company Sonangol.
Isabel dos Santos’ official source recalls, however, that “no accusation was made”, so the businesswoman did not have the opportunity to “exercise the contradictory” on the facts of which she is accused, stressing that “the processes remain secret from justice, which further complicates the exercise of the rights of the defense”.
“The facts related to the period in which he exercised functions at Sonangol were not confirmed in court – on the contrary”, defends the official source of Isabel dos Santos.
According to the international arrest warrant, Isabel dos Santos will have harmed the Angolan State in the total amounts of more than 200 million euros, committing crimes of embezzlement, qualified fraud, illegal participation in business and money laundering.