MAPUTO, Mozambique’s most notorious assassin, Momad Assife (Nini) Abdul Satar is again on the run, following the decision by the Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) to issue an international arrest warrant in connection with the spate of kidnappings of business people in Maputo and other Mozambican cities.

The PGR may find it difficult to bring Satar to trial, however, since he left the country on parole in 2014, and has never returned.

A Maputo city judge, Aderito Malhope, released Satar on parole after serving only half his sentence of 24 years and six months for his part in ordering the assassination, in November 2000, of the country’s most prominent investigative journalist, Carlos Cardoso.

After only a few months of freedom in Maputo, Satar applied for permission to leave the country for medical treatment in India, and Malhope authorized his departure. He has never returned.

The Cardoso family lawyer, Lucinda Cruz, regards this authorization as highly irregular. Normally, people on parole must stay in the country,” she said here Wednesday. He should have been kept in Mozambique.”

As for the medical treatment claim, Satar should have presented a certificate from a Mozambican doctor testifying to his condition. It is not clear that he presented any such document.

A further abuse is that Satar and the other five people convicted of the Cardoso murder were also ordered to pay compensation to the two children of Carlos Cardoso. Cruz confirms that to date nothing at all has been paid. She had heard that Satar made a promise to pay, but he has not contacted her, and to date the Cardoso family is still waiting.

Certainly Satar is not short of money. Judging from his Facebook page he travels around Europe, indulging his expensive tastes in cities such as Geneva, Paris and Monaco.

It is not hard to guess the source of this wealth. For Satar was also found guilty, in a second trial, of conspiring to steal the equivalent of 14 million US dollars from the country’s largest bank, the BCM, on the eve of its privatization in 1996. He was sentenced to 14 years for his part in this theft, but has not served a day of that sentence. The Maputo City Court should have merged the sentences for the Cardoso murder and the BCM theft into a single prison term, but did not do so.

The court ordered Satar and his co-conspirators to repay the money stolen from the BCM, but they paid nothing. Although the stolen money had to be split several ways, there could well be enough left over to fund Satar’s current lifestyle.

In addition there is the money paid as ransom to rescue the business people who were supposedly kidnapped by Satar’s associates. The PGR is convinced that it has solid evidence connecting Satar to the kidnappings. His name is on the charge sheet of two cases on the kidnappings opened earlier this year.