Preto & Branco

Kidnapping of businessman Manish Cantilal

Maneuvers make trial start unviable

After failed attempts to transfer the case about the kidnapping of businessman Manish Cantilal to the province of Maputo, the start of the trial at the Maputo City Judicial Court (TJCM) was unfeasible, on Monday, February 8, for abandoning the defense lawyers’ hearing room.

The start of the trial on the abduction of businessman Manish Cantilal was postponed for seven days on Monday, a decision made by the judge of the case, Efigénio Baptista, due to the absence of lawyers for the three defendants, including two women. Allegation: delayed arrival of the defendants!

The seventh section of the Maputo City Judicial Court (TJCM) had scheduled for Monday of this week to start the trial of three defendants accused of participating in the abduction of Manish Cantilal, in February last year. The decision of Efigénio Baptista, a judge who judges the case, was made due to the lack of defense of the defendants.

“The trial was scheduled for 10 am and not 8. And the defendants’ lawyers remained on the court premises, from 10 am to 11:30 am, as requested. After that they left the court. They left. I understand that this is not normal, for lawyers, all together, to make the request, justifying that the vehicle that takes the defendants took time ”, lamented Judge Baptista.

I intend to denounce, between the lines, that there are maneuvers to make the trial in its jurisdiction unfeasible, the judge, speaking to the press, revealed that the defense of the three defendants, three times, requested the transfer of the case to another court [in reference to the Judicial Court of Maputo Province] that seems easy ground for the defendants’ defendants.

“But it is here in the city of Maputo where the abduction occurred. On Ho-Chi-Min Avenue. And the case was filed in this section [7th] ”, justified Judge Baptista, who revealed that the claim of the defenders was considered unfounded.

The businessman had been kidnapped in February last year, and the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC) rescued Cantilal in May, 92 days after being in captivity.

On the day of the rescue, Cantilal narrated the mistreatment he suffered, pointing out that he was “tied to his mouth, neck and limbs, then dipped several times in a container containing water”, suffering that spread for three months.

Despite the evident maneuvers of transferring this case outside the jurisdiction of the city of Maputo, for unclear reasons, the judge rescheduled the start of the trial for next Monday. This judgment is expected with great expectation, in the hope that it will clarify how these networks and the respective principals act, since they go back to 2013, with high and low incidences, which envision that it is an organized breeding network, which its main target group is Asian businessmen. (Wording)

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