Son of ousted Gabon leader held in corruption case

Gabon was dominated by the Bongo dynasty for 55 years (-)

Three weeks after Ali Bongo Ondimba was overthrown in a coup, considered one of his sons and several other allies of the ousted Gabon president have been charged with corruption and positioned in custody, the state prosecutor stated Wednesday.

Bongo’s eldest son Noureddin Bongo Valentin and former presidential spokesman Jessye Ella Ekogha had been indicted on Tuesday and positioned in provisional detention for alleged corruption, Libreville prosecutor Andre-Patrick Roponat informed AFP.

In all, 10 individuals had been indicted on expenses starting from electoral school operational points, counterfeiting and use of the seals of the republic, to corruption, embezzlement of public funds and cash laundering, Roponat informed a press convention.

Seven have been detained, he added.

Bongo, 64, who had dominated the oil-rich central African nation since 2009, was overthrown by navy leaders on August 30, moments after being proclaimed the winner in a presidential election.

The end result was branded a fraud by the opposition and the navy coup leaders, who’ve additionally accused his regime of widespread corruption and dangerous governance.

On the day of the coup, troopers arrested Bongo Valentin and quite a lot of senior cupboard officers.

Nationwide TV confirmed rolling photos of the deposed president’s son and different arrested officers in entrance of suitcases stuffed with money allegedly seized from their houses.

Bongo’s spouse Sylvia Bongo Valentin is below home arrest within the capital Libreville “for her safety”, in keeping with authorities.

One in all her laywers stated on Wednesday that she was being stored “incommunicado exterior any authorized framework”.

“This example is unjustifiable and incompatible with the rule of legislation,” Paris-based Francois Zimeray informed AFP.

“We’ve got filed a grievance towards these answerable for what seems to be a hostage-taking.”

Bongo, who was himself below home arrest for a number of days after the coup, is “free to maneuver round” and go overseas, Gabon’s new navy ruler Normal Brice Oligui Nguema stated on September 6.

– Corruption –

Oligui has been sworn in as interim president after spearheading the coup that ended a half-century of rule by the Bongo household.

He has promised to carry “free, clear and credible elections” to revive civilian rule however has not given a timeframe.

The brand new strongman additionally misplaced no time in warning that corruption would now not be tolerated.

Instantly after the coup, he summoned round 200 Gabonese enterprise leaders to a gathering, whom he lectured on corruption.

Broadcast on state tv, he sternly warned enterprise leaders towards “over-billing” and informed them to decide to the “growth of the nation”.

He additionally vowed to verify the overcharged cash “comes again to the state”.

Ali Bongo took over when his father Omar died in 2009 after almost 42 years in energy.

In 2016, French investigators zeroed in on properties owned by Omar Bongo’s household in France.

They suspected a number of of his kin had knowingly benefitted from a fraudulently acquired real-estate empire value at the very least 85 million euros ($87 million).

Ten of Omar Bongo’s 54 kids have been charged with allegedly concealing the misappropriation of public funds, a Paris-based authorized supply has informed AFP.

As a sitting head of state, Ali Bongo had immunity.


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