Posted on May 6, 2009 by connectafrica
A French magistrate has opened a preliminary investigation into alleged embezzlement by three African leaders. Presidents Omar Bongo of Gabon, Denis Sassou-Nguesso of Republic of Congo and Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea deny any wrongdoing. The investigation follows lawsuits by the French branch of an anti-corruption group, Transparency International. It has accused the three leaders of buying luxury homes and cars in France with money from African public funds.
William Bourdon, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told Reuters news agency: “This is an unprecedented decision because it’s the first time a judicial inquiry has been opened concerning suspected embezzlement by sitting presidents.”
Correspondents say the case could strain French relations with the three oil-producing countries. Gabon and Republic of Congo are former French colonies, while Equatorial Guinea is a growing oil exporter. The Paris prosecutors’ office, which answers to the justice ministry, opposed the opening of the case on 20 April but investigating Magistrate Francoise Desset has allowed it to proceed.
A 2007 French police investigation found the leaders of the three countries and their relatives owned homes in upmarket areas of Paris and on the Riviera along with luxury cars, including Bugattis, Ferraris and Maseratis. Mr Bongo came to power in Gabon in 1967 and is Africa’s longest-serving ruler. Mr Obiang has faced coup attempts since he seized power in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea in a coup three decades ago. Mr Sassou-Nguesso took power in Republic of Congo for a second time in 1997 with help from Angolan troops.
SOURCED FROM BBC
Filed under: AFRICAN CRIME AND JUSTICE, AFRICAN NEWS, AFRICAN POLITICS | Tagged: AFRICAN CRIME AND JUSTICE, AFRICAN NEWS, AFRICAN POLITICS, DRC, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, GABON | Leave a Comment »
Posted on February 19, 2009 by connectafrica
The Equatorial Guinea authorities have reportedly arrested 15 people over an attack on the presidential palace in the capital Malabo earlier this week.The country’s state radio said those detained had been operating with other members of a Nigerian rebel group, according to AFP news agency. It said several other attackers had been killed or wounded.State TV is also quoted as saying that the attackers had used bazookas and homemade bombs in Tuesday’s attack.
Nigeria’s main militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), has denied involvement in the gun battle.President Teodoro Obiang Nguema – who has ruled since 1979 after toppling his uncle in a coup – was reportedly not in his official residence at the time of the attack.
State TV showed what appeared to be bullet marks and smashed windows at the presidential palace and a body, which was said to belong to one of the attackers, wearing a black headband and carrying a machete. “Fifteen assailants have been arrested, one was killed in the heart of the presidential palace and several have been injured,” the announcement on state radio said.
Several other attackers had been killed, state radio said, when their boats were destroyed before they reached Malabo, on the island of Bioko off West Africa’s coast, about 200km (125 miles) from the Nigerian oil city of Port Harcourt.State media attempted to pin blame for the attack on Mend.
The militants, who say they are fighting for a fairer distribution of wealth from Nigerian oil, have usually confined operations to southern Nigeria and its offshore oil installations.
SOURCED FROM BBC
Filed under: AFRICAN NEWS, AFRICAN POLITICS | Tagged: EQUATORIAL GUINEA, MALABO ATTACKS, MEND, NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA, WEST AFRICA NEWS | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 20, 2008 by connectafrica
Officials in Cameroon have arrested two policemen accused of handing a colonel from Equatorial Guinea to that country’s intelligence service.
The two men are suspected of kidnapping Col Cipriano Nguema Mba and driving him to Equatorial Guinea’s embassy in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.
Col Mba faces a 30-year sentence over an alleged 2004 coup plot against President Teodoro Obiang.
Cameroonian officials said Col Mba had been missing since earlier this month.
One official said Col Mba had registered with the UN’s refugee agency in Yaounde after fleeing there in 2003.
The two Cameroonian police officers have been charged with arresting a refugee and for “complicity with a foreign intelligence service,” according to a statement from Cameroon’s government.
Equatorial Guinea, an oil-rich former Spanish colony, has been ruled by President Obiang since he seized power from his uncle in 1979.
SOURCED FROM BBC
Filed under: AFRICAN CRIME AND JUSTICE, AFRICAN NEWS, AFRICAN POLITICS | Tagged: CAMEROUNIAN POLICE ARRESTED, COL CIPRIANO NGUEMA, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, PRESIDENT THEODORE OBONG | Leave a Comment »