Embezzlement: Court orders forfeiture of Equatorial Guinea leader’s son’s assets
October 27, 2017
The court found Teodorin, eldest son of President Teodoro Obiang guilty in absentia of using money plundered from his country to buy property and luxury cars.
Teodorin, a vice-president himself, was also handed a three-year suspended prison sentence and a suspended 35 million dollars (30 million euros) fine.
The Paris court found Teodorin, 48, guilty of embezzlement, and ordered the confiscation of more than 100 million euros worth of his French assets.
He denied the charges.
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.
Teodorin, was first put on trial in January but the case, 10 years in the works, was postponed after his lawyers argued they had not had enough time to prepare his defence.
Teodorin, luxury residence on Paris’ Avenue Foch – a grand, sweeping road near the Arc de Triomphe often favored by wealthy African expatriates and politicians – was among the assets scrutinized during the trial.
The property, bought for 25 million euros in 2005, had a gym, hair-dressing studio and disco with cinema screen.
Paris prosecutor, Jean-Yves Lourgouilloux, said Teodorin’s “fraudulent spending” amounted to more than 150 million euros.
His father, President Teodoro Mbasogo, has ruled Equatorial Guinea – a former Spanish colony – for more than three decades, making him one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
Rights groups have labeled his administration as one of the world’s most corrupt.