The French Supreme Court of Appeal refused to overturn Teodoro Obiang Mangue’s 2020 corruption conviction.
The French Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the verdict of embezzlement against the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, paving the way for the possible return of tens of millions of dollars to the people of the country.
The ruling on Wednesday against Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Vice President of the Gulf of Guinea Pass At the end of his 2020 trial in absentia, he was sentenced to three years probation and a fine of 30 million euros (35 million U.S. dollars).
The luxury goods seized in France during the investigation were ordered to be confiscated.
Transparency International, involved in the case, estimated that the value of the seized goods was approximately 150 million euros ($177 million), including a mansion in the center of the French capital.
Obiang has always denied any wrongdoing and argued that the French courts have no power to rule on his assets, but the Supreme Court rejected his appeal.
The residence at the center of the dispute is a luxurious residence on Avenue Foch in Paris-a wide avenue near the Arc de Triomphe. It has 101 rooms, a gym, a hairdressing room and a disco with a movie screen.
Now his case can no longer be appealed. According to the new French law, these assets will be sold. The law stipulates that the money should not go to the French treasury, but should be returned to Equatorial Guinea.
This can be done through local or international NGOs or French development assistance funds.
United Kingdom imposes sanctions
The ruling on Wednesday came two days after Equatorial Guinea closed its embassy in London after the British government imposed sanctions on Obiang.
The United Kingdom accused him of drawing state assets into his bank account to fund a luxurious lifestyle, including mansions, luxury cars and the crystal gloves that Michael Jackson wore during the 1987-89 “bad” tour around the world.
Obiang’s father, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, has ruled Equatorial Guinea since the 1979 coup came to power, when the country had been independent from Spain for 11 years.
Over the past few decades, the extraction of the country’s oil reserves has greatly increased its economic scale.
However, according to the World Bank, more than 76% of the population continues to live in poverty.
Other suspected cases of foreign officials embezzling funds line up in France, and it may eventually be decided to return the funds to the affected population.
A French court ruled that the exiled uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Rifaat al-Assad, used funds transferred from the Syrian country to acquire millions of euros. French property.
In this case, the appeal is still pending. He denied any wrongdoing.