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Mozambican cops promoted while jailed for killing observer

January 24, 2020 GMT

MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) — Three Mozambican police officers accused of killing a leading election observer in October last year have been promoted, according to local media reports — despite two of them being in jail awaiting trial for the killing and one being on the run.

The two jailed men told a judge in a pre-trial hearing that they had been promised promotions by superiors as reward for killing Anastacio Matavele in Xai-Xai, capital of Gaza province, ahead of nationwide elections on Oct. 15, 2019.

Matavele was shot dead by a gang of five men on Oct. 7. Two of the suspects died in a car crash when they attempted to get away and two others — Edson Silica and Euclidio Mapulasse — were arrested, and one, Agapito Matavele, is in hiding and wanted by police.

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According to documents signed by the Mozambique’s chief of police on Dec. 27 and obtained by the Maputo-based newspaper Savana, Silica was promoted to sub-inspector of police, and Matavele and Mapulasse to sergeant.

Silica and Mapulasse told a judge that they had been promised promotions, rather than cash, for killing the observer, Savana reported on Friday.