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Tue, 07 May 2019 10:56 - Updated Tue, 07 May 2019 10:56

National Assembly discusses standards on Criminal Procedure

Luanda - The State's obligation to ensure unofficial defenders (public defenders) for citizens in conflict with the law and the functions of the Public Prosecution Department marked on Monday the debate, in the specialty commission of the National Assembly, of the bill that approves the new Code of Criminal Procedure (CPP).

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Deputy Attorney General, Mota Liz.

Photo: Rosário dos Santos

National Assembly (Parliament) discusses standards on Criminal Procedure

Photo: Rosário dos Santos

During the discussions, members of the First Commission on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, questioned the Executive about the need to ensure competent or specialized unofficial advocates for disadvantaged defendants.

Representing the Executive, proponent of the bill, the Secretary of the President of the Republic for Political, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, Marcy Lopes, said that the State has a constitutional obligation to guarantee such minimum services, provided that the accused present a certificate of poverty.

In these cases, the State assures the services by giving legal advice to the defendant through an unofficial defender (minimum service), but the same can happen to citizens who do not have lawyers, without being poor.

As for the possibility of the accused being able to choose a lawyer with recognized expertise or expert in a particular matter, he explained that in these cases of personal demand or choice the services are paid by the defendant, because the State only offers minimum services.

During the debates, MP David Mendes raised a question about the functions of the Public Prosecution Department, which he said was not clarified in the diploma under discussion, whether this body belonged to the judiciary or judicial area.

In addressing this issue, MP João Pinto, as well as Deputy Attorney General Mota Liz, were unanimous in stating that the Public Prosecution Department is part of the judiciary system, which encompasses all other bodies that administer justice.

João Pinto insisted that the Public Prosecutor, as the owner of the criminal action, is the guarantor of impartiality, democracy, promotion of the adversarial litigation, together with the presence of lawyers.

He affirmed that the Public Prosecution Department not only guarantees the execution of the freedoms and guarantees of the citizens, but also represents the interests of the State.

The specialized committees of the National Assembly will again analyse the bill this Tuesday.

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