01.03.2001

Cardoso murder arrests follow complaints of lack of action

Several people have been arrested in connection with the assassination of editor Carlos Cardoso on 22 November last year. The arrest follows a bitter attack on the police by Lucinda Cruz, the lawyer of Cardoso's widow, Nina Berg. She published a detailed account of the way the police have bungled the case. The full (long) version is in Portuguese, published in "Metical". It was also published as a full page advertisment in "Noticias", with the additional accusation that the police and the Public Prosecutor's Office are "flagrantly violating the most elementary duties envisaged in the law for a criminal investigation", and of failing to take basic measures to collect evidence that might lead to the identification of the culprits.

Mozambique's Attorney General, Joaquim Madeira, revealed that his office has started interrogating an unspecified number of people who were arrested over the weekend in connection with the brutal murder of the country's best known journalist Carlos Cardoso. Cardoso, editor of the independent newsheet "Metical", and a former director of AIM, was ambushed and gunned down on a central Maputo street on 22 November.

The arrests were announced on Wednesday, Feb 28th, by the country's Interior Minister Almerino Manhenje who said that "some detentions have been made, and some materials used directly and indirectly in the crime have been apprehended". Madeira told journalists that "there are detainees who are being questioned". However, he was not forthcoming as to how many people are involved. He added that the people were arrested in a neighbouring country, and "some are Portuguese and others are Mozambicans".

Manhenje said that, in addition to working with the South African, Zimbabwean and Swazi police forces on the murder investigation, the Mozambican authorities had also received assistance from the British police. "Two investigators from the British police worked with us for several days", he said. AIM, the Mozambique News Agency has learnt that these two investigators were brought in at a very late stage; they were in Maputo for ten days earlier this month (Joseph Hanlon).

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