July 20, 2024

Guinea-Bissau: Calls to lift parliamentary immunity for Domingos Simões Pereira amid banking scandal resurgence

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Guinea-Bissau: Calls to lift parliamentary immunity for Domingos Simões Pereira amid banking scandal resurgence

Guinea-Bissau: Calls to lift parliamentary immunity for Domingos Simões Pereira amid banking scandal resurgence

In Guinea-Bissau, the Ministry of Public Prosecutions has formally requested the lifting of parliamentary immunity for Domingos Simões Pereira, the President of the National People’s Assembly (ANP) and leader of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

The move comes in relation to a case believed to involve financial misconduct known locally as the “bank rescue.”

According to sources familiar with the matter speaking to DW, the Ministry of Public Prosecutions dispatched a letter to the ANP’s leadership three weeks ago, outlining the necessity to strip Domingos Simões Pereira of his immunity.

This step, the source emphasized, is crucial to clarify suspicions surrounding his alleged involvement in financial irregularities that purportedly cost the Guinean state millions of CFA francs.

“We confirm sending a letter [to the ANP] requesting the lifting of Domingos Simões Pereira’s immunity because we believe it is necessary for the process in which he is suspected to be clarified,” stated the judicial source.

The “bank rescue” affair, previously centered on Geraldo Martins, a former Prime Minister and Finance Minister, resurfaced following allegations of financial impropriety.

Martins was acquitted and his case archived in 2018, but suspicions lingered over broader implications and potential involvement of other officials, including Simões Pereira.

When approached for comment, a spokesperson from the ANP declined to confirm or deny receipt of the request, citing procedural grounds and an inability to discuss the matter.

The resurgence of the “bank rescue” scandal has reignited public scrutiny over governance and financial transparency in Guinea-Bissau, a nation grappling with persistent economic challenges and political instability.

Observers anticipate that the decision on Simões Pereira’s parliamentary immunity could have significant implications for the country’s political landscape, influencing public trust in its institutions and the rule of law.

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