A Spanish court has ruled that an autopsy be performed on the body of Angola’s former president José Eduardo dos Santos, who died in a clinic in Barcelona on Friday.
According to a court spokesperson, permission was granted at the request of a family member for the autopsy, which was yet to take place.
The Carmen Varela family law firm representing dos Santos’s daughter Tchizé dos Santos, said earlier she had asked for her father’s body to be kept in Spain for a full autopsy due to alleged “suspicious circumstances of his death”, without providing evidence.
According to the office of Angolan President João Lourenço, his predecessor, who stepped down five years ago, the leader died in Barcelona where he was being treated following a prolonged illness. He was 79.
The clinic declined to comment on the request for an autopsy or the details of his death.
The elder dos Santos had been receiving medical treatment since 2019. In June, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported he was intensive care, citing a source close to him, as the Angolan government said the former leader’s health had deteriorated.
Tchizé and her lawyers also argue that dos Santos’s wish was to be buried in Barcelona rather than his body being returned to Angola for a state funeral.
Despite being handpicked by dos Santos to succeed him, Lourenço swiftly moved to investigate allegations of multi-billion dollar corruption during the former president’s era, often involving the dos Santos family.
A man of few speeches and interviews, dos Santos never specifically responded to the allegations that he had allowed corruption to become rampant.