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Equatorial Guinea's vice president's trial begins in France

Equatorial Guinea

The trial of the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president commences on Monday in Paris.

Teodorin Obiang Nguema is on trial for plundering state coffers for personal gain.

Nguema has however denied the charges levied against him and noted that he has diplomatic immunity as a senior official.

He is charged with corruption, embezzlement, misuse of public funds and breach of trust.

Nguema who is also the vice-president of Equatorial Guinea is not expected to attend the trial, which is expected to last under two weeks.

His attorneys have however said they will call for an adjournment saying they need more time to prepare his defence.

The trial is the first arising out of an investigation into the French assets of a trio of African leaders accused of leading a life of luxury abroad, reports AFP.

In December, the International Court of Justice in the Hague rejected a request by Equatorial Guinea to suspend the case.

The West African state wanted the UN court to find that France had violated its sovereignty and international law and to drop proceedings against Obiang.

In 2009, a French judge announced he would launch a landmark investigation into African leaders who plundered state coffers to buy luxury homes and cars in France. The case became known as “ill-gotten gains”.

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