the Court of Cassation decides in the case

In France, the Court of Cassation on Wednesday ruled on the appeal of Teodorin Obiang, Vice President of Equatorial Guinea, convicted last year of having built up a fraudulent legacy of more than € 150 million.

Is it French law or Equatorial Guinea that must apply to Teodorin Obiang? This is essentially the question that must be decided on Wednesday afternoon, the Court of Cassation, which was occupied by the Vice President’s lawyer.

On 10 February 2020, Teodorin Obiang, son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema and former Minister Vice-President of Equatorial Guinea, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined € 30 million for fraudulently building up a large inheritance in France due to embezzlement of money in his country. The amounts laundered in France are estimated at EUR 150 million.

Also read : “Ill-gotten wins”: on appeal, justice increases the punishment for Teodorin Obiang

If the case is due to the fact that TeodorinObiang, 50, is indeed convicted of misappropriation of corporate assets, in particular in French law, this crime does not exist in Equatorial Guinea. However, it is in this country that the money would have been redirected to acquire a luxurious heritage in France.

The Court of Cassation must therefore rule: is it, yes or no, an interference by the French judicial authority in Equatorial Guinea law?

If the answer to that question was in the affirmative, the Supreme Court could even decide not to refer the case, in other words, it considers that it is not for France to rule on those ill-gotten goods.

However, if the Court of Cassation upholds the conviction, Equatorial Guinea could become the first country to benefit from the completely new mechanism for restoring the assets of ill-gotten goods that makes it possible to return the proceeds of confiscated goods to the population.

Also read : Ill-gotten gains: a report calls for a refund mechanism for the population


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