quarta-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2013

“Public Prosecutor Accuses Former Minister Gil Alves of Criminal Fraud”

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Timor Post - Wednesday, 06 February 2013 - Translated from Tetum 
  
The Public Prosecutor has accused the former Minister for Tourism, Commerce and Industry (MTCI) Gil da Costa Alves with the crime of fraud alleging he used US$195,000 of ASDT Party funds for his own personal benefit.

The trial presided over by the collective of Judges, Jose Maria de Araujo, Duarte Tilman and Julio Gantes, the Public Prosecutor’s office represented by Prosecutor Jose Ximenes alleged the accused Gil Alves of this crime whilst he assumed the Secretary Generalship of the party at a time when the ASDT President Francisco Xavier do Amaral was still alive.

Similarly, after the ASDT President passed away, the accused became entitled according to the party constitution to assume the posts of President whilst an extraordinary party congress elected the new president.  Upon assuming the presidency on the 12th of April 2012, the accused sent a letter to the National Elections Commission (CNE) directed it to transfer the campaign assistance funds ASDT was entitled to receive to an account opened by the accused and his group.

CNE transferred the funds accordingly to the bank account in question, but in the time leading up to the ASDT party extraordinary congress held in dare on 27-28 April, the accused and others decided not to participate in the congress and authorized the transfer of the amount of US$195,000 from the account, and on 31 May 2012 continued to transfer funds from the party’s bank account held with bank Mandiri in the amount of US$45,000.

The accused persons had also previously been notified by the Court of Appeal of its decision that the Extraordinary Congress that had been convened by the accused was not valid, and that the deliberations of the Congress held in Dare on 27-28 April were valid and that Joao Correia was elected president of the party. However, the accused continued to ignore the court’s decision and withdrew the party’s funds from the bank account and used the funds for other purposes.

Based on these facts the Public Prosecutor accused a number of persons of the crime of fraud under article 267, line 4 of the Criminal Code.  Gil Alves chose to remain silent and let his lawyer speak for him after having heard the accusations read out against him by the court, but one of the accused named Henrique decided he wanted to make representations on his own behalf to the court.

He said that some of the accusations were correct, but there were also many that were not, because the moneys they had not been withdrawn to be used for private purposes, but for party activities.

“We used this money to pay debts that had been incurred through party activities for over the previous year, and though we knew that the Court of Appeal decision had been made, our signatures continued on the accounts so we continued to withdraw money to pay for the party’s debts,” the accused declared to the Dili District Court on Tuesday 5 February 2013.

The accused Henrique added that although some of the money had been used to pay for party activities, they were able to hand over the remainder to the President of ASDT Joao Correia the amount of US$45,000.00 in cash, and US$5,000.00 credit balance that remained in the Party’s bank account.
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