- Cape Verde's State prosecutor Arlindo Figueiredo e Silva was the target of what appears to have been an assassination attempt last night in Praia. An unknown assailant shot at him and his son outside their home. Both are in a stable condition. The motive for the attack is still unknown.
Of the two, Mr Figueiredo e Silva's seven-year-old son Daniel is in worse condition, and had to be admitted to Agostinho Neto Hospital in Praia, the Cape Verdean capital. The prosecutor's wife was grazed in the leg by one of the bullets and is currently in a state of shock. Mr Figueiredo e Silva was hit by five bullets, three in one arm and the other two elsewhere on his body. His son Daniel was shot in the abdomen.
The apparent attempt on the prosecutor's life took place last night at approximately 9:00 pm. The motives for the attack are still unknown, but it is believed they are related to Figueiredo e Silva's profession as a public magistrate in the Praia district court.
Accordign to eye witnesses, the Judiciary Police cordoned off the area where the attack occurred as soon as they were advised of the event, and proceeded to search a number of vehicles and passers-by. The Judiciary Police is still searching for the author of the attack.
Cape Verde's largest opposition party, the MpD, called a press conference this morning to manifest its concern over the lack of public safety. Less than one month ago, an individual was shot and killed in his car on the São Domingos - Assomada highway. The identity of the author of the murder is still unknown.
Mr Figueiredo e Silva is approximately 40 years of age, and has been a public magistrate for some 15 years. He was a prosecutor in Santo Antão, the central director of the Judiciary Police and an anti-corruption official during the MpD government. He is currently State Prosecutor in the Praia district court.
The Cape Verdean Ministry of Justice today issued a communiqué, expressing its condemnation of the "grave incident" that targeted the state prosecutor and his family. The Justice Ministry reaffirmed its determination to "guarantee the conditions necessary for the work of criminal investigation entities to be carried out in order to clarify the occurrence quickly and fully."
According to the note from the Justice Minister's office, public authorities and institutions "will resolutely continue their determination to reinforce the conditions and actions for the energetic combat of crime in Cape Verde, in the certainty that acts of this nature will always merit a firm and unequivocal reaction from Cape Verdean society."
President Agostinho Lopes of the opposition MdP in at a press conference today said that the "Cape Verdean democracy has suffered its harshest blow, and the authority of the state has been challenged and cast in serious doubt." Mr Lopes called for strengthening the police force in the country as a result.
In the MdP leader's opinion, "this act demonstrates the lack of security reigning in the country and that authorities cannot wash their hands of the responsibility for the successive attacks, both direct and indirect, that have targeted the judicial sector, particularly when we know that certain magistrates have long been requesting personal protection for themselves and their families."
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