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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 17:08 GMT
Cardoso trio in bank fraud trial
Carlos Cardoso
Six men were convicted of Cardoso's murder
The trial has begun of 15 people in the capital, Maputo, charged with involvement in Mozambique's largest bank fraud.

Three of the men have already been convicted of killing of Mozambique's best known journalist, Carlos Cardoso, who had been investigating the fraud.

Some $14m disappeared from the Commercial Bank of Mozambique, prior to its privatisation seven years ago. The trial is at a top security prison because of safety concerns after several attempted escapes.

Unlike in the Cardoso murder trial case, Judge Achirafo Abubacar turned down a request by to broadcast the trial live.

Chains

Mozambique's Attorney-General, Joaquim Madeira, has condemned as illegal the current restrictions on the three men convicted of ordering the assassination of investigative journalist Carlos Cardoso.

Since last Sunday, the former bank manager Vicente Ramaya, and brothers Ayob Abdul Satar and Momade Assife Abdul Satar, have been kept handcuffed inside their cells, and have not been allowed visits.

Mr Madeira said he understood the prison authorities' concern with preventing these high-profile prisoners from escaping, but that did not justify illegal measures.

The BBC's Jose Tembe in the capital, Maputo, says the prison is particularly jittery because last week a convicted drug baron, Andre Timana, attempted to escape.

That attempt was foiled - but only after Timana had managed to make his way out of the prison premises.




SEE ALSO:
Mozambique police trial 'farce'
14 Aug 03  |  Africa
Mozambique's judges 'corrupt'
07 Mar 02  |  Africa
Country profile: Mozambique
27 Nov 02  |  Country profiles


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