(AP) One of the men accused of killing Mozambique’s top investigative journalist has confessed and implicated President Joaquim Chissano’s son in the slaying.
On the second day of his trial, Manuel dos Santos Fernandes told Judge Augusto Paulino on Tuesday that he and two of his fellow accused had killed Carlos Cardoso in return for a promise of $20,000 from Chissano’s son Nhimpine.
Immediately after Fernandes’ statement, his lawyer, Simiao Cuamba, tried to resign, accusing his client of fabricating the story and of telling him previously that he was innocent. “He lied to me, and now he is lying [again],” Cuamba said.
Paulino ordered Cuamba to remain as Fernandes’ lawyer until a replacement could be found.
Cardoso, former owner and editor of the daily Metical newspaper, was killed in November 2000 when gunmen emerged from a car and shot him and his driver.
He had been investigating the country’s largest banking scandal, in which $14 million was stolen from the Commercial Bank of Mozambique in 1996. He had demanded that those who defrauded the bank be brought to justice.
Six men are being tried in connection with the killing.
Another of the accused, Abdul Satar, told the court Tuesday he was innocent.
A former attorney general and a former Cabinet minister are also being investigated in connection with the killing. They have not been charged.