Sentenced to three years in prison suspended for fraudulently building a considerable heritage in France, the Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Obiang, appealed, reports Jeune Afrique.
According to his lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny to AFP, the appeal was filed Friday. The son of Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema was sentenced on 27 October by the Paris Criminal Court to three years suspended sentence and a 30 million euros suspended fine following the first trial of “Ill-gotten property” in the French courts.
The court also ordered the confiscation of all property seized, including a sumptuous mansion Avenue Foch in Paris. Teodorin Obiang did not show up at his trial.
At the announcement of the judgment, his defense denounced a “militant decision” and promised to “examine all possible remedies”.
The investigation, launched after complaints by the Sherpa and Transparency International associations, unveiled the extent of Teodorin Obiang’s legacy. Objects of art, luxury cars, or this 101-room mansion, with hammam and disco, decorated with marble and fitted with gold-plated taps.
A way of life far removed from the daily life of his small oil country of the Gulf of Guinea, where more than half of the inhabitants live below the poverty line.
Teodorin Obiang, 48, having constantly challenged the legitimacy of the French justice, the court had recalled that he was competent because he found “the offense of money laundering committed in France” by the dignitary in his “personal” interest and not “facts committed in Equatorial Guinea” in “the performance of his duties”. The amounts laundered in France are estimated at 150 million euros.
Procedures launched in 2010 in France
Run since 1979 by Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who holds the longevity record in power in Africa, Equatorial Guinea has challenged these French prosecutions before the International Court of Justice. Pending the outcome of this procedure, the mansion of Avenue Foch, presented as diplomatic premises, can not be confiscated.
Teodorin Obiang is the first dignitary to be judged in the context of the so-called “ill-gotten property” procedures launched in 2010 in France.
French justice is also investigating the heritages built in France by relatives of Denis Sassou Nguesso (Congo), the late Omar Bongo (Gabon) or the deposed Central African President François Bozizé.