A French court will rule on E. Guinea President Son’s illegal assets.
On Wednesday, France’s highest appeals court will rule on the powerful son of Equatorial Guinea’s president’s conviction for amassing expensive assets in the country using illegally obtained monies.
If the Court of Cassation dismisses Teodorin Obiang’s appeal, his assets might be allocated to the people of the impoverished central African country under a new French law established earlier this month.
The lawsuit against Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang, who has ruled the country since 1979, is the most advanced of dozens that have been opened in France against mostly African elites over ill-gotten fortunes.
The decision will be made two days after Equatorial Guinea closed its embassy in London in response to Britain’s decision to penalize Teodorin Obiang.
Teodorin Obiang is accused of siphoning off public funds into his personal bank accounts to maintain a lavish lifestyle that includes houses throughout the world, luxury cars, and the crystal-covered glove worn by Michael Jackson on his 1987-89 “Bad” tour.
Teodorin Obiang was convicted in France in 2017 and again in February 2020 on appeal, receiving a three-year prison sentence in absentia, a fine of 30 million euros ($35 million), and the confiscation of all assets collected during the investigation.
His defense indicated the next day that they will appeal the case to the Court of Cassation.
Teodorin Obiang, the country’s defense and security minister, has long been known for his opulent tastes and expensive vacations.
The cash he laundered in France to build up assets, including three Bugattis, a Rolls-Royce, and two Maseratis, has been estimated at 150 million euros by French judicial authorities.
A magnificent building on Paris’s affluent Avenue Foch with a cinema, hammam, and marble and gold taps is among the confiscated property, with an approximate worth of 107 million euros.
Equatorial Guinea appealed the building’s confiscation to the International Court of Justice, claiming that it acted as the country’s embassy in France.
The UN court, however, sided with France, which claimed that the building was merely Teodorin Obiang’s home and had no diplomatic significance.
If the conviction is upheld by the Court of Cassation, the value of the assets would be redistributed to the French people rather than being incorporated into the French budget, according to new law voted by parliament on July 20.
It isn’t the case. Brief News from Washington Newsday.