‘Anibalzinho’ denies involvement

Update (23Jan): Anibalzinho sentenced to 30 years in jail
‘I didn’t do it’ – Anibalzinho. Journalism.co.za. Dec 5. 2005
At the start of his retrial for the crime, Anibal dos Santos Junior, or Anibalzinho, has denied any involvement in the 2000 murder of Mozambican investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso, writes Charles Mangwiro.
”I neither killed nor contracted anybody to kill Cardoso,” Anibalzinho told the Maputo city court. He was previously sentenced to Mozambique’s longest jail term of 28 and half years after being tried in absentia two years ago.But he declared that he was contacted by three of the six men convicted for involvement in the murder, Momade Assif Satar or Nini, Ayob Satar and former Bank manager Vincent Ramaya, in connection with a contract to kill Cardoso and a bank lawyer, Albano Silva. The two men were said to represent a ‘disturbance’ since they were involved in investigating a scandal at the country’s commercial bank, BCM.
Anibalzinho told the court that he immediately turned down the offer but his life was in danger following constant threats made Nini who feared that he could leak information about the assassination plan.
He also accused his former lawyer, Simao Cuamba of manipulating information under the influence of Nini. He said Cuamba told him not to reveal to the court information about meetings with the trio in a Maputo hotel in connection with the plot.

”I never stole anything since I was born”, he declared.Prosecuting lawyers described during the hearing how Anibalzinho led his three-member death squad to Cardoso’s office in the heart of Maputo’s diplomatic suburb before gunning down the journalist and also injuring his driver.In the 2003 trial, the gunman, Carlitos Rashide testified he had killed Cardoso with an AK47 riffle under instructions from Anibalzinho.

Carlos Cardoso was at the time investigating Mozambique’s largest banking fraud. It involved USD14m, which was siphoned into offshore accounts prior to the bank’s privatization in 1996.

The presiding judge, Benvida Levi, has ruled that cameras, tape recorders or other electronic devices will not be allowed into the courtroom.

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