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Gabon: four children of Omar Bongo have been indicted in France

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Grace, Betty, Arthur then Hermine: four children of the late Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba have just been indicted for the first time by French justice in the fifteen-year-old case of Gabonese “ill-gotten gains” in France , AFP learned Thursday from a source familiar with the matter.

Grace, Betty, Arthur then Hermine: four children of the late Gabonese President Omar Bongo Ondimba have just been indicted for the first time by French justice in the fifteen-year-old case of Gabonese “ill-gotten gains” in France , AFP learned Thursday from a source familiar with the matter.

Between March 25 and April 5, financial judge Dominique Blanc successively indicted Grace (58), Betty (55), Arthur (51) then Hermine Bongo (53), for concealment of embezzlement of public funds, active and passive corruption and abuse of corporate assets, according to information obtained by AFP.

A survey started in 2007

French justice indeed suspects several members of the Bongo family, from Omar, the late father, to Ali, the son and current president, via the daughter Pascaline, of having “knowingly” benefited from an important real estate heritage. “fraudulently” acquired by the patriarch and whose value was recently assessed by the courts “at least 85 million euros”.

The four indicted children of the man who was President of Gabon from 1967 to his death in 2009 all challenged before the judge to be aware of this fraudulent origin. After the indictment of the BNP in May 2021, these accusations mark a new acceleration in this difficult and long-term investigation, triggered after a complaint in March 2007.

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Other children, among the 54 of the former historic ally of France, could follow. Contacted by AFP, Jessye Ella Ekogha, spokesperson for the Gabonese presidency, did not comment.

BNP also targeted

In this case of ill-gotten gains, in addition to the Bongo children and BNP Paribas, fourteen other natural persons are being prosecuted, including members of the family of Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso and several French people, including a lawyer, a notary, a company manager real estate civil (SCI), etc.

Grace Bongo’s lawyer, Me Elise Arfi denounced a “scandalous” indictment which creates “legal uncertainty”, “25 years” after the acquisition of the property.

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‚ÄúThe Bongo family chapter which has opened will continue‚ÄĚ, commented Me William Bourdon, lawyer for the association Transparency International France, civil party in this case. “The procedure now teaches how badly acquired French property could only have been thanks to the help of engineers of figures and law,” he added.

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