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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 16:19 GMT
Chissano son denies ordering murder
Carlos Cardoso
Carlos Cardoso was investigating corruption cases
The son of Mozambique's president has said that he has no knowledge of the 2000 murder of high-profile journalist Carlos Cardoso.

Three of the six murder suspects told the court that Nyimpine Chissano, 33, was behind the assassination which shocked Mozambique two years ago.

Following the accusations, the judge ordered that he appear in court.

President Joaquim Chissano has said he wants justice done, irrespective of the allegations against his son.

The murder, and the subsequent investigation, have highlighted the growing corruption in one of Africa's best performing economies.

Blank cheques

Nyimpine Chissano denied signing cheques to pay for Mr Cardoso's murder.

Nyimpine Chissano
Nyimpine Chissano is the president's eldest son

One of the suspects had presented cheques signed by Mr Chissano to the court, saying he had used them to pay a hit man.

But Mr Chissano said they may have come from a business contact, whom he had given signed blank cheques as a guarantee.

Mr Chissano has not been charged with any crime.

Mr Cardoso was investigating allegations that $14m had disappeared from the main state bank at the time of his murder.

He had also denounced other shady deals, some involving international drug deals.

Mysterious escape

Last week six mobile phones smuggled into prison by the suspects were confiscated.

People laying flowers at the murder site in Maputo
Cardoso's death shocked Mozambique

Judge Augusto Paulino ordered security to be stepped up saying that threats were being issued against those participating.

"The case will be seen to the end despite these threats against judges, prosecutors, lawyers and witnesses," he said.

Judge Paulino has also ordered the appearance in court of Teresinha Mendonca, the mother of the key suspect in the case, Anibal dos Santos, who escaped from prison in September.

His mother said that Mr dos Santos had been helped to flee to London in order to prevent him testifying.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jose Tembe on Focus on Africa
"He denied most of the questions asked"
See also:

18 Nov 02 | Africa
07 Mar 02 | Africa
23 May 01 | Africa
24 Nov 00 | Africa
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