Angola’s top court on Friday sentenced the son of ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos to five years in prison for diverting oil revenues, making him the highest-profile figure in the former regime to face jail for graft.

Jose Filomeno dos Santos, 42, was summoned before the Supreme Court in December over allegations he tried to embezzle up to $1.5 billion (1.3 billion euros) from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund, which he oversaw from 2013 to 2018.

Nicknamed “Zenu”, dos Santos was charged with stealing $500 million from the fund and transferring it to a Swiss bank account.

“For the crime of fraud… and for the crime of peddling influence… the legal cumulus condemns him to a single sentence of five years in prison,” Supreme Court judge Joao da Cruz Pitra said.

Three co-defendants, including the former governor of the national bank of Angola (BNA) Valter Filipe da Silva, were sentenced to between five and eight years in prison for fraud, embezzlement and influence peddling.

All four were acquitted of money-laundering charges. They had previously denied any wrongdoing.

Credit: AFP

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