Cipriano Mutota, one of the 19 accused in the hidden debt operation, said that he obtained the amount during his testimony during the trial in the case, confirming the allegations in the indictment filed by the prosecution.
“Yes, I confirm, yes, I received $980,000 (833,000 euros) in several installments,” Mutota announced in response to questions from the case judge and the public prosecution.
The defendant stated that it was unaware of the illegality of the payment, after concluding that the money corresponded to the phrase “thank you” for the role it played in preparing the SISE study on the marine protection regime in Mozambique.
As SISE’s then Director of Studies and Projects, Cipriano Mutota played an active role in preparing the aforementioned assessment, between 2007 and 2008, which served as the basis for mobilizing more than $2 billion in funding for marine protection companies, with state guarantees deemed illegal by the Attorney General’s Office.
“I thought the money was for my contribution to the project. I received this money after I left my position and received an internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation,” he said.
Cipriano Mutota also stated that he had received the said amount from Jean Boustany, a negotiator for Abu Dhabi-based shipbuilder Privinvest, who was accused of being the person who paid the money-fueled kickbacks of “hidden debt”.
With the money he received, he added, Motota bought seven cargo trucks, three of which he sold shortly after, farm implements for a property he owned in his home country, and various depreciation expenses.
The defendant added that he learned of payments with “hidden debt” funds through Angela Liao, the defendant and wife of former SISE General Director Gregorio Liao, also accused in the process.
“She asked herself if I had already received my share and said no. Then I called Teófilo Nhangumele [arguido e interlocutor da Privinvest] Until my share is paid to me.”
Nhangumele, the former director of studies and projects at SISE, reported that he had received money for his involvement in the scheme, as had other protagonists in the case, and Cipriano Mutota had also called Jean Gardener to get paid, which he eventually did. installments.
“I never expected to receive any value for my work on the study for the Mozambique Coast Protection Project. It is not normal for SISE to receive payments of this kind,” Motota said.
Cipriano Motota, who has worked at SISE for 45 years, lasted just over ten hours and filled out today’s papers, and is expected to continue on Wednesday.
In addition to Mutota, on Thursday the court will hear Teófilo Nhangumele, whose hearing was also scheduled for today.
In the allegations I read on Monday, the public prosecutor charged the 19 defendants with “hidden debts” with joining a “gang” to smash the Mozambican state and leaving the country “in a difficult economic situation.”
“Anyone who joins a gang to rob the state is not in the service of the state. The defendants acted jointly, putting their own interests above those of the state,” said Anna Sheila, a public prosecutor who read the indictment. .
And Anna Sheila added that the behavior of the 19 accused squandered the Mozambican state with 2.7 billion dollars (2.3 billion euros) collected from international banks through guarantees provided by the government.
The Public Prosecution judge confirmed that “everyone has harmed the country and left it in a difficult economic situation.”
For the Mozambican Public Prosecutor’s Office, the various offenses committed by the defendants include association with delinquency, abuse of influence, passive corruption for an illegal act, money laundering, embezzlement, abuse of office or position, and document falsification.
Twelve of the 19 defendants are under pretrial release, while seven are awaiting trial in preventive detention.
The “hidden debt” was contracted between 2013 and 2014 with the British branches of the investment banks Credit Suisse and VTB by the Mozambican state firms Proindicus, Ematum and MAM.
The loans were approved secretly by the Frelimo government, led by Armando Guebuza, without the knowledge of Parliament and the Administrative Court.
In addition to the main case, Mozambican justice opened an independent case in which several other people are suspected of involvement in the scheme, including former Finance Minister Manuel Chang, former directors of the Bank of Mozambique, and former executives of Credit Suisse, a banking institution that made loans viable.
The case was also opened in the USA and England.
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