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World

AFP
September 21, 2018

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Angola drops graft charges against ex-army chief

LUANDA: Angolan prosecutors dropped corruption charges against a former army chief of staff who was sacked in April by President Joao Lourenco as he moved to shake up his predecessor´s administration.

The charges against Geraldo Sachipengo Nunda were dropped late on Wednesday because of a lack of evidence "proving criminal conduct", according to the Supreme Court. Eight other accused, including a spokesman for the ruling party, four Thai nationals, a Canadian and an Eritrean were placed under house arrest in connection to a $50 billion (43 billion euros) fraud.

Their trials are expected to begin before the end of the month. In April Lourenco removed Sachipengo Nunda who had been implicated in the scandal by prosecutors a month before.

Since coming to power in September 2017, Lourenco has fought against corruption while also removing figures associated with the regime of his predecessor Jose Eduardo dos Santos. During his 38-year rule, dos Santos secured the unquestioning loyalty of his security chiefs including the head of the army.

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