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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 12:41 GMT
Mozambique murderer sent to jail
Anibalzinho
Anibalzinho was deported from Canada after escaping Mozambique
The man convicted of murdering Mozambican journalist Carlos Cardoso is to serve 30 years in jail.

A retrial in Maputo upheld the 2003 conviction of Anibal "Anibalzinho" dos Santos Junior, who planned the killing.

An appeal court allowed a retrial since the first trial was conducted in absentia after he fled Mozambique.

Cardoso was murdered in 2000 while investigating a $14m fraud related to bank privatisation. The case has drawn attention to corruption in Mozambique.

"The judges consider the charges proven and therefore decide in the name of the Republic of Mozambique to condemn Anibal dos Santos Junior," Judge Dimas Marroa said as he passed sentence in the Maputo City Court.

'Unfair'

Dos Santos, a Portuguese citizen who has maintained his innocence throughout the trial, denied his involvement once again after the trial.

"It's an unfair judgement because I didn't ask for and didn't kill Carlos Cardoso," he said.

Dos Santos was also found guilty on other counts, including falsifying his name, forging a passport, giving false statements to the authorities and stealing.

In addition to prison terms, Dos Santos will also pay several fines, including about $584,000 in compensation for the damages caused to the Cardoso family.

Cardoso family lawyer Lucinda Cruz expressed satisfaction at the verdict but said much remained to be uncovered about the journalist's murder.

Judge Marroa ordered that Dos Santos should be deported to his country of nationality, Portugal, after serving the sentence.

Escape

Dos Santos was charged with contracting two men to carry out the killing and it is still unclear who originally ordered the assassination.

Dos Santos escaped twice from custody while awaiting trial in Mozambique, fleeing on the first occasion to South Africa and on the second to Canada.

It is widely believed in Mozambique that he had inside assistance from someone who did not want the truth about the Cardoso murder revealed.

Evidence in the first trial raised questions about the alleged role of Nyimpine Chissano - son of the then Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano - in ordering the killing.

He has denied any involvement.


SEE ALSO:
Mozambique's long-awaited trial
01 Dec 05 |  Africa
Mozambique's judges 'corrupt'
07 Mar 02 |  Africa


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