Equatorial Guinea warns of reprisals for France after arrest warrant for President Obiang's son
Equatorial Guinea has warned that French companies could face reprisals if Paris does not cancel an arrest warrant for the son of President Teodoro Obiang Ngeuma.
The warrant for Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue was issued as part of an investigation by French magistrates into alleged corruption by African leaders including Obiang, Congo-Brazzaville’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso and Omar Bongo, the late president of Gabon.
Obiang’s lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny said in a statement that he was surprised the magistrates were seeking a warrant as there was nothing to suggest his client had committed any offence in France or abroad.
The charges were brought by the anti-corruption group, Transparency International, which alleges the leaders and their relatives spent state funds from their countries on lavish purchases in France.
The organisation claims Obiang owned more than four million euros worth of vehicles in France while altogether the three leaders had accumulated French assets worth 160 million euros.
French police in February searched an Obiang residence in an upmarket Paris district removing vanloads of possessions.
Last September, 11 of the families luxury cars were seized in Paris as part of the probe.
The ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea says the country’s first son cannot be judged in a French court.