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Bermuda-registered company linked to diamond fields torture and murder case

Bermuda is entangled in an international case involving torture and murder in the diamond fields of north-eastern Angola, it has been reported.

The Caribbean 360 website says the case, which involves a Bermuda-registered mining company, implicates some of the top figures in Angola’s military and security establishment.

Angola’s Attorney General Joa Maria Moreira De Sousa summoned witnesses to testify in the case, which started on March 5 with hearings in the Angolan capital, Luanda.

The respondents named in the case are partners in the Angolan mining company Sociedade Lumanhe and the directors of Bermuda-based ITM Mining, which together make up the SMC consortium in partnership with the state company Endiama.

Caribbean 360 said that, according to the Angola Attorney General’s office, ITM Mining is registered at Corner House, Parliament Street, Hamilton and has a representative office in Luanda. Its director and president is listed as Angolan Renato Herculano Texeira.

However, research in Bermuda conducted by

The Royal Gazette yesterday revealed that ITM Mining is now registered at Lincoln Management Limited, the Dallas Building, Victoria Street, Hamilton.

The partners of Teleservice, most of whom are also partners in Sociedade Lumanhe, are also named as respondents, according to the Caribbean 360 article. Other respondents include General Manuel Hélder Vieira Dias, Minister of State and head of the Military Bureau in the Angolan presidency, as well as a close confidante and business associate of President José Eduardo dos Santos. Further named are three former commanders in chief of the Angolan Armed Forces: General António dos Santos França Ndalu, General João de Matos and General Armando da Cruz Neto.

The case was brought before Attorney General De Sousa on November 14, 2011, by Angolan human rights activist Rafael Marques de Morais, who had been investigating rights abuses connected with the diamond industry since 2004. In his deposition to the attorney general, Mr Marques referred to testimony that implicates the mining consortium Sociedade Mineira do Cuango [SMC] in acts of torture and murder against local populations and against informal diamond miners.

Testimony presented to the attorney general also implicated the private security company Teleservice and its representatives as the perpetrators of the acts of torture and murder, which constitute crimes against humanity under the Angolan constitution, according to the report.

The Attorney General is said to have summoned the ten witnesses whose names were put forward by Mr Marques to give testimony. All are residents of Lunda Norte province, and were either victims of torture, or witnessed abuses being carried out. The north-eastern provinces of Lunda-Norte and Lunda-Sul are Angola’s richest diamond-producing areas and were fiercely contested during the civil war. During the 1990s, diamonds from the Lunda region were an important source of revenue for the UNITA rebel movement.

Since the end of the war in 2002, the government has granted mining concessions to companies owned by senior military figures and others with close links to the regime, according to the report.

The Royal Gazette contacted Lincoln Management Limited to see if it wished to issue any statement in response to the news. No response was forthcoming by press time.

International case: A diamond in the hand of a miner in Africa. A Bermuda-registered company has been named in a criminal case alleging torture and murder in the diamond industry in Angola.

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Published March 12, 2012 at 9:58 am (Updated March 12, 2012 at 9:57 am)

Bermuda-registered company linked to diamond fields torture and murder case

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