five more children of Omar Bongo were investigated in France

Five more children of late Gabon President Omar Bongo Ondimba, including his eldest daughter Pascaline, have been indicted in Paris in the “ill-gotten gains” case, suspected of taking advantage of the property inheritance. “fraudulent” acquired in France by their father between June and July 2022.

This new series brings to at least nine the number of children of Omar Bongo, half-brothers and half-sisters of his son and successor in the head of the country Ali Bongo, prosecuted in this judicial investigation led by a Parisian fiscal judge.

Embezzlement, corruption, money laundering, misappropriation of corporate assets…

Pascaline Bongo, 66, former chief of staff to her father, Omar Denis Jr Bongo, 28, also the granddaughter of Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Jeanne Matoua, 38, and Joseph Matoua, 40, were investigated between June and July, according to a judicial source at theAFPconfirms Friday July 29, 2022 information from the website The Intelligence of Africa.

They are prosecuted for concealment, embezzlement of public funds, active and passive corruption, money laundering and misuse of corporate assets. French law suspects them of having “knowing” benefited from a significant property portfolio “fraudulent” collected in France by the Patriarch, President of Gabon from 1967 until his death in 2009. The value of these items was recently assessed by the courts “at least 85 million euros”.

For Pascaline Bongo’s lawyer, Me Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt, who is in this procedure “a legal and factual anachronism”.

According to information obtained byAFPPascaline Bongo stated to the investigators in January 2020 that she owned, among other things, several apartments in exclusive districts of Paris, acquired by her father from the 1970s to 1990. Very close to her father, she was chief of staff at the Palais from the coast of Libreville, seat of the presidency.

Lawyer for Omar Denis Jr Bongo, Me Jean-Marie Viala fought alongAFP charges against his client “on the basis of the law”, “no to morals”.

Between March and April, Parisian fiscal judge Dominique Blanc had already indicted Grace, Betty, Arthur and then Hermine Bongo, other children of the late president. These 50-year-olds all denied being aware that the fortune was fraudulent.

Other children, among the 54 of France’s former historic partner in Central Africa, could follow.

“An entire family clan must be held accountable”

That “great wealth” of the Bongo family, according to a February ruling from the Paris Court of Appeal, comes “money from embezzlement of public funds and significant sums from corruption of oil companies”, notably Elf Aquitaine, now TotalEnergies. To “the investigations carried out in this procedure have confirmed”according to the investigating judge.

“It’s a whole family clan that will have to be held accountable”responded toAFP Me William Bourdon, lawyer for Transparency International France, civil party to the case. “The receivers, including French, have been fixed, which will allow a full legal panoramahe added, all must measure the colossal quantities involved”.

In this investigation, triggered by an NGO complaint in 2007, at least fourteen other people are being prosecuted in addition to the Bongo children and BNP Paribas, including members of President Sassou Nguesso’s family, and several French people, including a lawyer, a notary or manager by a civil property company (SCI).

“This does not concern the President of the Republic or any member of the President of the Gabonese Republic, so there is nothing to comment on.”declared Jessye Ella Ekogha, spokesman for the Gabonese presidency, when asked byAFP.

“However, it appears that the media has adopted as a marketing strategy to systematically associate the Head of State, Ali Bongo Ondimba, with a case that he has never been concerned about or heard of. This has to stop”he added.

Head of State, Ali Bongo enjoys immunity and is therefore not at risk of prosecution in the near future.

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