Angolan activist to be tried for corruption expose

File: Rafael Marques de Morais, an Angolan journalist, is to be tried in camera. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

LUANDA - Outspoken Angolan human rights activist and journalist Rafael Marques de Morais will be tried in camera for a story he wrote two years ago exposing alleged corruption.

The charges relate to a story that Marques wrote in 2016 about a purchase of land by former attorney-general Joao Maria de Sousa.

A court hearing on Monday was adjourned until 24 April after De Souza's lawyers argued that as a former attorney-general he has special privileges.

READ: Angola's Dos Santos 'turned state into family business'

"The court said the trial cannot be held in the court of law and must be held in the office of the attorney-general," Marques told AFP.

Marques, who runs the news website Maka Angola, and Mariano Bras, another journalist who reproduced the article, face up to three years in jail.

The 46-year-old Oxford-educated Marques is no stranger to Angola's courts, having been arrested and detained several times.

In 2015, he was convicted of defaming military generals in a book and was handed a six-month suspended prison sentence.

In September, President Joao Lourenco succeeded José Eduardo Dos Santos, who had ruled Angola for 38 years.

Lourenco assumed power promising to tackle corruption in the oil-rich nation.



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