France opens way for corrupt African leaders to be tried in absentia

Equatorial Guinea's Vice President Teodorin Nguema Mangue whose trial for corruption and money laundering has begun in Paris.
Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President Teodorin Nguema Mangue whose trial for corruption and money laundering has begun in Paris.

By Staff Writer

France has opened the way for Western countries to try African dictators who empty national coffers to enrich themselves, their families and close relatives and friends. In a landmark case in the French capital Paris, the first of such leaders who is going to be tried in absentia is Equatoria Guinea’s Vice President Teodorin Obiang Nguema Mangue, son of Africa’s longest serving dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

This is the first of many trials that France is said to be planning against African dictators, many of whom belong to its former colonies and who have starched ill-gained riches all over French territory. President Nguema who made his son vice president in 2012, has ruled the country since in 1979 he overthrew his uncle Francisco Macias Nguema and has since ruled his subjects with an iron hand, with claims that he at times reverts to skinning his victims and eating their brains. One of his former advisers was quoted as saying of Nguema: “He can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact and who gives him this strength.”

His son has led a flamboyant life living a millionaire’s life while his countrymen literally starve from poverty. In Paris, Nguema Jr who is also in charge of Equatorial Guinea’s security and defence, is said to own an £80 million house in one of the most prestigious areas of the city. But luxury cars he owned in Switzerland that included a £2 million Bugatti, an £800,000-plus Porsche, a Ferrari and two Rolls Royce were seized by Swiss authorities in 2012 believing they were acquired through corrupt means.  His French villa has also been seized since.

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