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Eq. Guinea, Gabon, Congo to 'jointly' fight 'ill-gotten assets' saga - Obiang

Eq. Guinea, Gabon, Congo to 'jointly' fight 'ill-gotten assets' saga - Obiang

Equatorial Guinea

President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has said he will confer with his Gabonese and Congolese counterparts to fight the case of so-called ‘ill-gotten’ assets.

The 74-year-old leader of the oil-rich Central African country said he refused to understand why the acquisition of wealth had become a headache for a government and other groups.

He hinted that the three countries will specifically file a complaint against international rights group, Transparency International (TI). He did not, however, state which quarters the joint complaint will be lodged.

“I am going to meet with Omar Bongo’s son, and with [Denis] Sassou Nguesso, who are also confronted with this case of ill-gotten goods.

“I will meet with Bongo, meet with Sassou Nguesso and we will go together to file a complaint against Transparency International,” he said on July 6 at a press conference following the 6th Congress of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) in Bata, the country’s economic capital.

TI is a civil party to the trial of Teodoro’s son and vice-president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Obiang. He is being tried in Paris in the case of ill-gotten property. The case has been held before the Paris Criminal Court since June 19. Judgment is to be delivered on October 27.

“The purchase of goods in Europe is not prohibited by any national or international provision, nor can a third country declare illegal goods from another country, in which case a property acquired in France with money legally earned in Equatorial Guinea can not be considered as an ill-gotten asset,” Obiang stressed.

His son has denounced Paris’ interference in the affairs of a sovereign state maintaining his innocence in the trial. The French prosecutor last week asked for a jail term, a fine and confiscation of all properties owned by Teodorin.

“[French] justice system can not make international politics against a government through its external institutions, and how is it possible that the French government is incapable of bringing justice to respect the reciprocal cooperation agreements that France Has subscribed with Equatorial Guinea? It is a similar aspect to the masquerade,” the country’s second and only president since 1979 asked.

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