Mozambique seems resigned to the realisation that a judge in the London High Court is likely to throw out its lawsuit against shipbuilder Privinvest, Credit Suisse and others over the $2.2 billion “hidden debts” scandal.
The term “hidden debts” refers to loans worth $2.2 billion obtained from the banks Credit Suisse and VTB Russia by three Mozambican companies, ProIndicus, EMATUM (Mozambique Tuna Company) and MAM (Mozambique Asset Management), with the sole contractor and supplier, the Abu Dhabi-based group Privinvest, selling them fishing boats, radar stations and other assets at exceedingly inflated prices, between 2013 and 2014.
Mozambique’s Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) sued the companies in the London High Court on the grounds that the loans guarantees were null and void and demanded compensation to be paid to Mozambique.
But the PGR has not been cooperating with the London High Court, prompting Judge Robin Knowles, as per Reuters news agency reporting, to two weeks ago tell the court that Mozambique had failed to disclose relevant documents from such entities as the Office of the President and the State Information and Security Services, adding that “if I need to exercise my powers for strike-out to ensure compliance with the Republic’s (of Mozambique) duties and the obligations of this litigation, I will, because that is my duty and the fairness of the trial I wish to deliver to the Republic and all parties is at stake.”
However, Mozambique Insights understands that it is highly unlikely that Mozambique will cooperate with the London High Court in the disclosure of documents relevant to the case. This is because the PGR seems to have its hands tied since neither the Presidency nor SISE will grant access to relevant documents.
According to the PGR source, “the collective interest will be sacrificed over personal interests”, suggesting political interference. It is worth pointing out that at the time the loans were secured President Filipe Nyusi was the country’s defence minister.
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