Prominent Angolan journalist Graca Campos, the
owner and director of the country’s leading independent newspaper Semanario
Angolense, has been sentenced to eight months in jail, writes Gilberto Neto.

He was also fined the equivalent of $25 000.

On Oct 3, the Luanda
court found Campos
guilty of slandering former Minister of Justice Paulo Tjipilica, now the
country’s ombud.

Campos will not be able to appeal the finding, Radio Ecclesia quoted the
paper’s deputy director Silva Candembo as saying. This means that Campos will already be
starting to serve the sentence, the radio added.

“We have never seen something like this before.
The trial only took two days,” the paper’s number two said.

The case arose out of a series of articles
run in the popular Semanario Angolense a few years ago, accusing the then
Minister of Justice of neglect in allowing large numbers of illegal immigrants into
the country.

Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos
earlier this year said that Angola
was under a “silent invasion” by African, Asian and European foreigners coming
in illegally to exploit the country’s resources, urging authorities to tight
control of the country’s borders.

The issue has since then entered the
domestic political agenda, with several operations being carried out to expel
illegal immigrants, especially in the diamond-rich areas of Luanda Norte and
Lunda Sul in the east of the country.