Angola’s billionaire former first daughter Isabel dos Santos on Thursday dismissed graft allegations against her and vowed: “to fight through the international courts to defend my good name”.
The British-educated tycoon and eldest daughter of ex-president Jose Eduardo dos Santos has been charged in Angola with money laundering and mismanagement during her stewardship of state-owned oil firm Sonangol.
“The allegations which have been made against me over the last few days are extremely misleading and untrue,” she said in a statement issued through a public relations firm in London.
“This is a very concentrated, orchestrated and a well-coordinated political attack, ahead of elections in Angola next year.
“It is an attempt to neutralise me and to discredit the legacy of President dos Santos and his family,” dos Santos said.
“No-one should be taken in by these diversionary tactics.”
Documents leaked this week by the New York-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) alleged she plundered state coffers to build her fortune, estimated at $2.1 billion (1.82 billion euros).
But in her statement Thursday, dos Santos said the “stolen” documents had been leaked “selectively to give a false impression of my business activities”.
She added: “I am ready to fight through the international courts to defend my good name.
“I have engaged lawyers to take action against inaccurate and defamatory reports.
“We deny all the latest allegations being made by Angolan authorities.”
A spokesman at the PR firm representing dos Santos said he did not know her current location, but that she had been in Britain this week.