Court jails 8 for coup plot in Angola

A court in Angola has sentenced eight people out of the 37 arraigned to between four and 10 years in jail for an attempted coup d’état.

They were arraigned in court for several charges, including an attempted assault on the presidential palace in Luanda, Africa Review reports.

The court sitting in Luanda, sentenced to a one-year jail term and freed on bail the other 28 accused.

One of the accused was acquitted after the court concluded that he had psychological problems.

Celestino Leonardo, who is considered the leader of the 37 former soldiers, will serve 10 years, the longest for all the accused.

The majority of the accused were members of the opposition Union for the Total Independence of Angola’s (Unita) former armed wing.

They were accused of attempting to overthrow the government in January 2016.

UNITA waged a long-drawn guerrilla war against the Portuguese colonial rule and later the independence government.

It was founded on March 13, 1966 by Dr Jonas Savimbi, who led it in the 27-year Angolan civil war against the ruling MPLA party from 1975.

Dr Savimbi was killed in a clash with government troops on February 22, 2002.

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