Marques was finally released on bail on November 25, and a trial date was set for December Meanwhile, Marques was forbidden to leave Luanda. He was also ordered to refrain from contacting journalists or making public statements. On December 15, officials at Luanda's provincial court switched the trial to the Supreme Court. No explanation was given for shifting the case to a higher court, nor was there any indication of when the trial would begin. Police accused the editor of crimes against state security after he wrote an article referring to a confidential letter from the provincial governor to President dos Santos which Mussamo had apparently seen in the governor's office.
Although CPJ could not confirm the contents of the letter, it is known that the article was never published. Mussamo continues to be held without charge.
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As a result, Agora came out with one blank page. Folha 8 published four blank pages. Both papers had intended to cover a damning report by the British advocacy group Global Witness, in which top Angolan officials, multinational oil companies, and international banks were accused of contributing to the country's "humanitarian and development catastrophe. In response, the government threatened legal action against Global Witness.
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It was unclear how the authorities learned that the two newspapers planned to cover the report. Both editors, Aguiar dos Santos of Agora and William Tonet of Folha 8, announced they would take legal action against the Angolan government for interfering in their editorial activities, causing financial losses.
The presidential spokesman denied the accusations, saying that Aguiar dos Santos should not be taken seriously because he was an "alcoholic. Costa's lawyer appealed to the High Court, and the case is expected to reopen within a few months. Leitao sued Costa for defamation in connection with an April article on corruption at the presidential palace. A few days after Leitao filed the lawsuit, Costa's residence was searched by three police officers from the Criminal Investigation Department.
The officers apparently confiscated two computer disks from Costa's desk. Since then, Costa has been barred from leaving Angola. According to local journalists, Costa also complained of threats on his life by "influential people close to the president's office" who attempted unsuccessfully to force him to reveal his sources for the Expresso article. Toggle navigation Committee to Protect Journalists. In a memo disseminated via state media, the Ministry of Social Communications said Angolan journalists should not even refer to the war, although state media continued to issue reports that minimized government setbacks and characterized UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi as a war criminal.
The two crews, each consisting of one reporter and one cameraman, were filming a gunfight between police and armed robbers when they were themselves stopped at gunpoint and forced to surrender their cameras. The RTP journalists reported that the police officers forced them to kneel on the ground and threatened them violently.
The TPA crew was beaten and kicked. The police officers, who displayed search and arrest warrants, seized the BBC interview tape and Radio Ecclesia's transmission equipment.
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They then arrested chief editor Juliao and two other staff journalists, Tavares and Joaquim. The three men were held at DNIC headquarters for about four hours and interrogated separately. They were accused of "disseminating dangerous information" and "threatening public security" and were questioned about their political views. The next day, Radio Ecclesia again broadcast the Savimbi interview, during the midday news program. DNIC officers subsequently rearrested Juliao, together with station director Jaka and da Mata, another staff journalist. BBC journalist da Silva was detained for questioning on August 10 for having provided a tape of the interview to Radio Ecclesia.
Police later seized a second recording from da Silva's house. All the journalists were released later that day. However, authorities forced Radio Ecclesia to sign an agreement stating that it would not refer to Jonas Savimbi or UNITA on the air without prior permission from the government.
The arrest followed a report by Soares alleging that some of the state security forces, including elements of the Angolan national police and the Angolan armed forces, were diverting humanitarian-relief supplies brought by the United Nations World Food Program and intended for the displaced civilian population.
After the arrest, VOA reported that Soares' life might be in danger. He was released later the same day. All three were released later that day.
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The authorities were concerned about a recent article in the independent biweekly newspaper Folha 8 entitled "Government Closes Ecclesia. Juliao was among those arrested on August 9. Juliao apparently refused to name the sources. The police interrogated Neto about a recent article in the newspaper entitled "Government Closes Ecclesia," referring to the August 9 police raid on Radio Ecclesia and the arrest of five journalists there.
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