Spanish justice closed the investigation into the death of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos, confirming that it was due to natural causes, according to a decision by a court in Barcelona released today.
The decision of a court in Barcelona, in the Spanish region of Catalonia, closed the case, concluding that José Eduardo dos Santos died in that city of “exclusively natural causes” on July 8, as the initial conclusions of the autopsy had already determined.
The judicial investigation was opened following a complaint by some children of the former president of Angola, who invoked the possibility that their father had died due to negligence in the care provided to him by the personal doctor and the last wife, Ana Paula dos Santos.
In the decision made today, quoted by the EFE, Europa Press and AFP news agencies, the judge states that “the lack of indications of said crime, in view of the definitive autopsy report and the health documents included in the case file, lead to the provisional closure and to the filing of the case”.
“There are no elements that allow us to consider that he was not provided with care at any time”, adds the decision of the Barcelona court.
Lawyers for the eldest sons of the former president of Angola, headed by ‘Tchizé’ dos Santos, filed a criminal complaint in July that included possible offenses of “omission of the duty to help” and “revealing secrets”.
Last August 17, the Spanish justice concluded that José Eduardo dos Santos died of natural causes and ordered the delivery of the corpse to the widow.
The sons of José Eduardo dos Santos appealed against these decisions, considering that “although the judicial autopsy concluded that the death of the former president of Angola was due to natural causes”, there were “indications” that Ana Paula dos Santos and the José Eduardo dos Santos’ personal doctor, João Afonso, did not adopt “all the necessary and timely measures to ensure his full health” and that they also revealed “very sensitive information” about his condition to the Angolan and Portuguese media.
“All this, in collaboration” with the Government of Angola, with the aim of “hastening the transfer of the body”, in order to take place before the Angolan presidential elections on August 24, argued the sons.
In this context, the lawyers once again requested the hearing by the justice of Ana Paula dos Santos and João Afonso as “persons under investigation”.
In response, the Spanish justice closed the case, according to the decision known today.
Regarding the disclosure of “very sensitive information” about the health of José Eduardo dos Santos to journalists, the court states that the state of the former President of Angola was publicly known and that the sources of the news invoked by the complainants are not known.
The Spanish justice handed over to Ana Paula dos Santos, on August 20, the body of José Eduardo dos Santos, who was also claimed by the sons of the former President of Angola.
The body was taken to Angola and the funeral took place on 28 August.
José Eduardo dos Santos succeeded Agostinho Neto as President of Angola in 1979 and left office in 2017, serving one of the longest presidencies in the world, punctuated by accusations of corruption and nepotism.
In 2017, he resigned from re-candidate and the current President, João Lourenço, succeeded him in office, having also been elected by the MPLA, a party in government since the country became independent from Portugal in 1975.