Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Jail term sought in Paris corruption trial of Equatorial Guinea President’s son/VP Teodorin Obiang


AFP photo

Paris prosecutors said Wednesday they were seeking a three-year jail term and a 30-million-euro ($34 million) fine for Equatorial Guinea's Vice President Teodorin Obiang, on trial in absentia for embezzlement.

The 48-year-old son of President Teodoro Obiang is charged with using money plundered from his country's state coffers to fund a jet-set lifestyle in France.

His landmark trial, which began on June 19 in the defendant's absence, also heard charges of money laundering and breach of trust.

Prosecutors also asked the court to seize a six-storey mansion Obiang bought on Avenue Foch, one of Paris's swankiest streets, valued at more than 100 million euros.

Obiang denies the charges, says the money came from legitimate sources and has claimed the property purchase was not prohibited under French law in any case.

Late last month Obiang claimed the case was aimed at damaging the Equatorial Guinean government.

Obiang, known for his taste for fast cars, luxury homes and bespoke suits, called the case a "farce without any legal basis".

"It is a fabrication against the legal government of Equatorial Guinea and against Africa," he said at a Pan-African Youth Forum in the Chadian capital N'Djamena.

In 2012, French authorities swooped on the Avenue Foch mansion, seizing it along with a fleet of luxury cars including two Bugatti Veyrons and a Rolls-Royce Phantom.


AFP
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