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Angola’s Former System of Patronage Faces the Law

A court in Luanda has sentenced the son of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos to five years in prison over a $500m corruption case. José Filomeno dos Santos, the former head of Angola’s $5bn sovereign wealth fund, was found guilty, along with three other defendants, of transferring the money to a Credit Suisse account in London. His trial has been the most high profile case to date under the anti-corruption drive of President Joao Lourenco, who took the helm after dos Santos stepped down in 2017 after a near four-decade grip of power in Africa’s second-biggest oil exporter. Judge Joao Pitra found Dos Santos guilty of fraud, embezzlement and influence trafficking. Valter Filipe, former governor of the National Bank of Angola, was sentenced to eight years in the case. António Samalia Bule, former director of Banco Nacional de Angola, and Jorge Gaudens Sebastião, a businessman and a friend of Dos Santos jnr, got five years and six years respectively.