French prosecutor seeks jail, huge fine for Equatorial Guinea leader's son
PARIS, July 5 (Reuters) – A French public prosecutor on Wednesday asked a court to sentence the son of Equatorial Guinea’s president to three years in jail on charges of using money plundered from his country to buy Parisian luxury properties and exotic cars.
The public prosecutor also said Obiang should pay a 30 million euro fine and have all his assets in France confiscated.
Teodorin Obiang, eldest son of President Teodoro Obiang and a vice-president himself, denies charges of laundering embezzled public funds. He is being tried in absentia.
The court’s ruling will come at a later date.
The case is the first of several to reach court in a broader judicial investigation into allegations of illicit acquisitions in France by long-time leaders and family relatives in several African countries including Gabon and Congo Republic.
Among the acquisitions at the centre of the trial is a large property bought for 25 million euros ($28.31 million)in 2005 on Paris’s upmarket Avenue Foch, with gymnasium, steam room, hair-dressing studio and a discotheque with cinema screen.
In addition to luxury clothing and jewels, prosecutors say Obiang, built up an exceptional collection of costly cars, which along with clothes, jewels and real estate took the value of all his assets to around 100 million euros. ($1 = 0.8832 euros) (Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Editing by Ingrid Melander and Richard Lough)