Angolan scholars categorically deny having “bought” doctoral degrees in a scheme allegedly involving Bacelar Gouveia. The Portuguese academic is suspected of having “sold” securities in exchange for counterparts.
The Angolan lawyer Carlos Feijó denied this Monday (28.12) with all the letters that are part of the alleged web of corruption, in the scope of the judicial process that investigates the Portuguese Jorge Bacelar Gouveia. The academic is suspected of having facilitated the award of doctoral degrees to students from some of the Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP), in exchange for economic benefits.
The professor, one of the most prominent lawyers in Angola, questions the ongoing process in Portugal and the possible purchase of favors involving his name. The professor at the Faculty of Law of Agostinho Neto University explains that he obtained his doctorate in Portugal, at the Faculty of Law of the New University of Lisbon.
“I defended the thesis on September 16, 2011. Before, I attended the Ph.D. and Master’s program in 1997, from New University of Lisbon, to which I was admitted by a jury”, he explains to DW Africa.
The Angolan lawyer guarantees that the evidence was public and that the jury constituted by professors Freitas do Amaral, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, João Coupers, Armando Marques Guedes, Gomes Canotiho, José Octávio Serra Van-dúnem and Bacelar Gouveia.
Three of them are the main arguments: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, João Coupers, and Armando Marques Guedes. It states that in public tests on September 16, 2011, the aforementioned jury unanimously voted the maximum score allowed by Portuguese law, having been “approved with distinction and praise and unanimously.
Research must draw the necessary consequences
“Anyone who wants to question my Ph.D., whoever wants to link my Ph.D. to what is going on in terms of research with Professor Bacelar Gouveia will have to ask, at least, the people who are alive and who made the three main arguments: Professor Armando Marques Guedes, João Coupers and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa have given me top marks for the fraudulent influence of Professor Bacelar Gouveia ”, he warns.
Carlos Feijó says that the investigation should draw the necessary consequences, having guaranteed that he did his Ph.D. with all the rules and guarantees of impartiality in Portugal. Feijó raises a number of questions.
“Are you saying that, for example, Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who was the main argument of my thesis, was also corrupted? Are you saying that Professor João Coupers, who is vice-president of the Constitutional Court of Portugal and who was one of the arguments of my thesis, was also corrupted? And Professor Marques Guedes was also an argument, he was also corrupted !? It is necessary to remove these consequences ”.
Feijó insists that his doctorate was not obtained fraudulently, in exchange for counterparts or diamonds and that he did not even help Angolan students to obtain fake doctorates.
It stresses that it does not fit among the alleged Angolan and Mozambican students targeted. And, precisely, it also does not fit the situation that Bacelar Gouveia is accused of awarding recent PhDs carried out under cooperation protocols between Agostinho Neto University and the Portuguese counterpart.
Feijó says Gouveia was never his teacher
Since Freitas do Amaral has passed away, the Angolan professor asks to confirm with Gomes Canotilho and José Serra Van-Dúnem if his doctorate meets the standards of “requirement, rigor, and impartiality”.
Carlos Feijó confesses that he does not understand this attempt to link his name to the situation that Bacelar Gouveia lives in when he was neither his teacher in the degree nor in the master’s program and in the doctorate. And he says he is not a “full professor of aviary”.
“I am pursuing a longstanding academic career. It is an investment that I have made over this entire period of time. I abandoned relevant public and political functions to dedicate myself exclusively to academic and teaching. Eight years ago, once again, I abandoned any political and public function, or rather any function in the State, to dedicate myself to academic and private life ”, he explains.
In turn, “it was with great admiration and astonishment” that Eduardo Sambo saw his name mentioned among the students who will have benefited from the process involving Bacelar Gouveia. The Angolan academic explains that he did not do a Ph.D. at the New University of Lisbon.
“I didn’t do a Ph.D. either in Luanda or in Portugal. […] I graduated from the Agostinho Neto University. I did my master’s at the Classic University of Lisbon, not at Nova. I did my master’s degree at the Classic University of Lisbon in 1997 and did my doctorate at the University of Havana, Cuba. So I don’t see what connection I can have with these issues that are putting there, which gravitate towards cooperation between the New University of Lisbon and Agostinho Neto University. I would like to understand where my name comes from and why? ”Says Sambo.
Sambo removes any type of fraud from its process
Eduardo Sambo, a professor at the Law Faculty of Agostinho Neto University for about 40 years, says he knows Bacelar Gouveia, a respected academic in Portugal and Angola and at the level of the entire Portuguese-speaking community.
Eduardo Sambo argues that “it is very difficult to create fraud situations in this type of circumstance”. He assumes that he and Carlos Feijó, mentioned in a list of alleged students benefiting from doctoral degrees, are as far away as possible from any situation of suspicion and fraud.
DW asked the academic if he thinks, in light of the searches carried out by the Portuguese Judicial Police at the Faculty of Law of the New University of Lisbon, that the Attorney General’s Office should also open an investigation to investigate this case.
“The Prosecutor’s Office does not see any Angolan with suspicious titles. No. If there are no violations of rights, the Attorney General of the Republic of Angola, I think, has a lot to worry about and naturally does not intervene in situations of this nature ”, he replied.
On the other hand, Sambo considers that cooperation that has been “extremely valid” between Portugal and Angola, namely between the New University of Lisbon and Agostinho Neto University, is being questioned.
The suspicions of corruption arise, in the context of the “Tutti Frutti” process, when the Portuguese Judiciary Police intercepted, in 2017, telephone conversations between Bacelar Gouveia and the former social-democratic deputy, Sérgio Azevedo, his student at New University of Lisbon.