LISBON, Portugal — Mr. Orlando Figueira, Portugal’s public prosecutor, was arrested Tuesday morning by the National Unit for Combating Corruption of the Judicial Police in Lisbon, Portugal.
Mr Figueira, formerly a respected attorney and magistrate in the Central Department of Investigation and Penal Action (DCIAP), had led a number of high-profile cases specifically focused on well known Angolan individuals, such as the prominent banker and former President of Banco Espirito Santo Angola (BESA), Dr Alvaro Sobrinho. Despite Dr Sobrinho being cleared by the Court of Appeal in Lisbon on the three occasions cases had been ordered by Mr Figueira, the cases kept active and as recently as January 2016 it had been suggested further investigations would be launched. This continued investigation of such high-profile figures will now be called into question, as the National Unit for Combating Corruption of the Judicial Police in Lisbon found Mr Figueria guilty of taking bribes to make cases against Angolan individuals, and as such perverted a true and fair legal system.
According to Expresso newspaper in Portugal, the scandal that now embroils Mr Figueira, and others in the Portuguese legal system including lawyer Paulo Blanco, again represents the difficult and strained relationship between Portugal and its former colony the Republic of Angola. According to Poltico, the complicated dynamics of this relationship have caused numerous recent problems across society: “In Portugal this relationship has had a negative impact on the rule of law, the behaviour of the media, the internal life of political parties, and corporate governance. It is time for a radical change”.