Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi has received immunity from any allegations he was involved in the conspiracy at the heart of multibillion dollar fishing-boat scandal, in a fresh setback for Credit Suisse.
Just weeks before a trial is set to begin in London, Judge Robin Knowles refused to add Nyusi as a party to the case against Credit Suisse and other firms involved in the financing of a tuna-fishing fleet and coastal patrol force in Mozambique.
The African nation’s government had filed the London case alleging the Swiss bank ignored red flags and turned a blind eye to the corruption of its own bankers in deals struck a decade ago.
“In relation to the claims alleged against him in these proceedings he has immunity from the jurisdiction of this court whilst he is head of state,” Judge Knowles said on Monday. The allegations against Nyusi relate to events before he became president, the court said.
Credit Suisse declined to comment. A UK lawyer for the Mozambican government and a representative for Privinvest didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The ruling is a setback for Credit Suisse, now part of UBS Group AG, and tycoon Iskandar Safa’s shipbuilding firm Privinvest that raised the allegations against Nyusi.
Credit Suisse lost an attempt in July to block the impending trial that’s scheduled for October. The trial, which is one of a panoply of legal troubles that UBS Group AG has inherited from Credit Suisse, which it agreed to buy in March.
Credit Suisse agreed in 2021 to pay almost $475 million in the US to resolve multiple investigations into its role in the fund raising scandal that saw hundreds of millions looted from Mozambique and tipped the country into economic crisis.