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Equatorial Guinea veep must be jailed and fined €30m: French prosecutor

Equatorial Guinea veep must be jailed and fined €30m: French prosecutor

Equatorial Guinea

A French prosecutor is pushing for the vice-president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea to be jailed for three years and all his assets in France be confiscated.

A Paris court in January this year, opened a corruption, embezzlement and misuse of public funds case against Teodorin Obiang Nguema, first son of the country’s long-serving leader, Teodore Obiang Nguema.

According to the prosecutor, aside the confiscation of the stylish 48-year-old’s properties and the jail term, he should also be made to pay a fine of over 30 million euros. The court’s ruling will come at a later date.

Teodorin who is being tried in absentia has repeatedly denied the charges while the Central African country failed in its bid to stop the Paris court from trying him with the reason that it was against international law.

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

The case is the first of several to reach court in a broader judicial investigation into allegations of illicit acquisitions in France by long-time leaders and family relatives in several African countries including Gabon and Congo Republic.

President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema has been in power for 37 years, and is Africa’s longest serving leader. He seized power in 1979, and promoted his son to the post of vice-president in 2012.

Among Teodoro’s key acquisitions in France is a 25 million euros property in a posh Parisian area, Avenue Foch. He is also said to have bought clothes, jewels and swanky Italian sportscars bringing the total cost of his investments to around 100 million euros.

Aside the French legal system, Switzerland sometime last year also opened an investigations into properties owned by the 48-year-old with special emphasis on fast cars. A number of the cars were seized by Swiss authorities in early November 2016.

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