The Angolan billionaire, who is currently fighting to salvage her reputation following massive leaks which revealed how she used her position at state-owned oil firm Sonangol to plunder Angola’s economy, has launched legal action against a consortium of journalists and its media partners over the publication of thousands of documents about her business empire.
On Monday, she said the documents released last week by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners were part of a “concerted and intense campaign” against her.
“I refute the unfounded allegations and false affirmations and inform that I have taken steps towards initiating legal action against ICIJ and its partners, which will be managed by the international law firm Schillings Partners,” dos Santos said in a statement.
Dos Santos has maintained that the leaks were part of a politically motivated campaign by the government of her father’s successor.
After the expose, Angola summarily charged her with money laundering and maladministration during her stewardship of state-owned oil firm Sonangol.
"Isabel dos Santos is accused of mismanagement and embezzlement of funds during her tenure at Sonangol and is thus charged in the first instance with the crimes of money laundering, influence peddling, harmful management ... forgery of documents, among other economic crimes," Angola’s Attorney General, Helder Pitta Gros told a news conference last week on Wednesday evening.
The ICIJ was not immediately available for comment.
Meanwhile, a Portuguese hacker, Rui Pinto, has taken responsibility for disclosing hundreds of thousands of files “containing all data related to the recent revelations about dos Santos’ fortune” to an African whistle-blower platform, his lawyers said on Monday.