Theodore Obiang did not actually succeed on the appeal, he had just witnessed the confirmation of his conviction by the Court of Cassation in the trial of illicit goods in France. The proceeds from the sale of its assets in this country, estimated at 150 million euros, will be donated to Equatorial Guinea.
In France, the Court of Cassation confirmed, on Wednesday, the ruling issued by the Court of Appeal in February 2020 against Teodorin Obiang, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, in a wrongful gain trial. In fact, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea has been sentenced to three years in prison, a fine of 30 million euros and will be stripped of all property he has accumulated in France, for “money laundering, exploitation of social assets, embezzlement of public funds and breach of trust” between 1997 and 2011.
This ruling was warmly welcomed by the civilian party represented by Transparency International and other organizations. “It is a great victory, a historic decision that puts an end to fourteen years of proceedings,” rejoices the chair of the advocacy “Illicit Financial Flows” within the NGO, Sarah Brembieoff. Patrick Levas, President of Transparency International France, adds, “With this decision, French justice confirms that France is no longer a welcoming land for funds embezzled by senior foreign leaders and their entourage.”
Although he has not been successful all the time since the start of this trial, the defense is not discouraged, planning to drop his last card: “European Court of Human Rights [CEDH] It will obviously be seized, as well as any international court competent to consider matters relating to international public order such as the immunity of those in power or those relating to the interference of a foreign state in the internal legal order of a country. ‘,” confirmed Theodorin Obiang’s lawyer.
I, Emmanuel Marcini, as it is about him, to continue: “The lack of any corruption can be reprimanded. [à M. Obiang] It has been confirmed. His conviction relates to acts of embezzlement allegedly committed against private law firms in Equatorial Guinea. [lui] Affiliation and alleged misappropriation of public funds corresponding to payments for doing work, however, it is all justified. ”
150 million euros will be returned to the people of Equatorial Guinea
The assets acquired by Teodorin Obiang in France are estimated at 150 million euros. It is a private mansion with an area of about 3000 square meters, located on Rue Foch, in one of the most exclusive areas of the capital, and its value is estimated at 107 million euros; a fleet of luxury cars, including three Bugatti, a Rolls-Royce and two Maserati, costing €5.7 million; The merchandise is other valuables.
All these goods will be auctioned, and the recovered money will go back to Equatorial Guinea where it will be used to fund development actions. Thus, this country will become the first to benefit from the mechanism of restitution of assets seized in the so-called “unfair gains” cases of foreign leaders, which was adopted by the French Parliament, only last week.
It should be remembered that Teodorin Obiang is also being sued in similar cases in the UK where the decision to freeze his assets was made a few days ago. In response, Equatorial Guinea closed its embassy in London on Monday in protest of interference in its internal affairs.
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