The son of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos appeared in court on Monday, at the start of his trial on corruption charges.
It is the first time a member of the dos Santos family appears in dock since President Joao Lourenco came to power in 2017, part of a wave of change that has followed his arrival.
Jose Filomeno dos Santos, 41, also known as “Zenu” is accused of having tried to steal $1.5 billion (1.3 billion euros) from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund during the time that he ran it.
He appeared before the Supreme Court along with three codefendants, who also face charges of money laundering and embezzlement one of them former central bank governor Valter Filipe da Silva.
Zenu was appointed head of the $5 billion fund in 2013, 34 years into his father’s reign.
In January 2018, only months after Lourenco came to power, Zenu was fired from his position. He was arrested in September that year and held in custody for seven months before being released on bail.
Lourenco has launched a large-scale purge of the dos Santos administration, during which key sectors of the economy were awarded to the former president’s close allies and relatives.