TI-France re-files complaint targeting assets held in France by five African heads of state

Issued by Transparency International France



TI-France and the SHERPA Association have reported that a law suit was filed at the Court of Paris on Wednesday 9 July, relating to the circumstances under which huge real estate and financial capital was acquired in France by Denis Sassou Nguesso, Omar Bongo, Téodoro Obiang, Blaise Compaoré, Eduardo Dos Santos and their close associates or families.

The law suit was jointly filed by TI-France and nationals of Gabon and Congo, represented by Barrister William Bourdon. It communicates the same facts as those contained in another law suit jointly filed last year by SHERPA (ibid), SURVIE and the Federation of Congolese nationals of the Diaspora. In spite of the convincing nature of findings produced by the preliminary investigation, the matter was classified.

Pursuant to provisions of the new Law of 5 March 2007, new plaintiffs - who secondly want to ask for reparation of their damage - must lodge a new complaint. Hence, the plaintiffs are expecting that a legal inquiry will be opened in the shortest possible time. The findings of the first police investigation revealed the existence of a huge fortune and many of the facts contained in the initial law suit have been confirmed.

There is little doubt that the fortune under scrutiny could not have been obtained through the salaries and official benefits of the persons concerned. Even more serious, some of these people are highly suspected of masterminding a huge embezzlement of public funds. It is for the examining judge to determine how the real estate was acquired and how the numerous bank accounts detected by the police were being run. It is equally necessary to consider the contributions made by some intermediaries in the course of the criminal operations.

TI-France considers it absolutely essential that the rights of victims of corruption to reparations are upheld. The recovery of stolen assets embezzled by unscrupulous leaders is one of the foremost priorities of Transparency International, which played a major role to ensure that such a principle is enshrined in the United Nations Convention against Corruption (the so-called Merida Convention, 2003). The most disadvantaged populations are often the first victims of these misappropriations.

The recovery of stolen assets constitutes one of the subjects of the Convention on which there is a strong consensus among signatory countries, both in the Southern and Northern hemisphere. France, which repeatedly gave its support to this principle, has to ensure that corrupt money is not recycled through investments on its territory.


For any press enquiries please contact

Sherpa:
William Bourdon
T: 0033 1 42 60 32 60
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Transparence-International (France):
M.Daniel Lebègue or Julien Coll
T: 0033 1 47 58 82 08
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

This week, the Open Government Partnership is holding its 5th global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia. Transparency International is there in force, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Increasing accountability and safeguarding billions in climate finance

In December 2015, governments from around the world came together to sign the Paris Agreement, agreeing to tackle climate change and keep global warming under two degrees centigrade. They committed to spend US$100 billion annually by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and protect themselves against the potentially devastating effects of climate change.

After Gürtel, what next for Spain’s struggle with political corruption?

At the start of June, the Spanish parliament voted to oust Prime Minister Rajoy after his political party was embroiled in the biggest corruption scandal in Spain’s democratic history. At this critical juncture in Spain’s struggle with political corruption, Transparency International urges all parties to join forces against impunity and support anti-corruption efforts in public life.

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media