In Summary

  • Authorities seized about 512,000 euros which the magistrate had placed in bank accounts and safes in Portugal and Andorra as part of their investigation dubbed 'Operation Fizz'.
  • Vicente's lawyer Rui Patricio said Thursday that his client had not been notified of any charges being brought against him.

LISBON

Portuguese prosecutors on Thursday charged Angolan Vice President Manuel Vicente with corruption over allegations he bribed a magistrate with roughly 760,000 euros ($800,000) in 2012 to drop two investigations against him.

Vicente, who was the president of Angolan national oil company Sonangol at the time of the alleged crimes, is charged with bribery, money laundering and document falsification, the public prosecutors' office said in a statement.

His alleged accomplices, his lawyer Paulo Blanco and his business representative in Portugal, Armindo Pires, were also charged over the affair, as was the Portuguese magistrate who he is accused of having bribed, magistrate Orlando Figueira.

Figueira, who was arrested in 2016 and is currently under house arrest, was charged with accepting bribes, document falsification, money laundering and violation of the confidentiality of an official investigation.

OPERATION FIZZ

Authorities seized about 512,000 euros which the magistrate had placed in bank accounts and safes in Portugal and Andorra as part of their investigation dubbed 'Operation Fizz', the prosecutors' office said.

According to Portuguese media reports, one of the investigations which Figueira allegedly dropped in exchange for cash centred on the origin of funds which Vicente used to buy a luxury apartment in a Lisbon suburb.

The Angolan vice president will be notified of his indictment through an official letter sent to the authorities in Angola, an oil and diamond rich former Portuguese colony in southwestern Africa, the prosecutors' office said.

Vicente has denied any involvement in the affair, saying shortly after Figueira's arrest that he had "absolutely nothing to do with any payment".

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