Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Startled startups flee UK ahead of Brexit

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

What's next for Yemen?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French Guiana: 'A powder keg abandoned by the state'

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French presidential election: Over 40% remain undecided

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

ICC orders former DR Congo warlord to pay damages to victims

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trumpcare falls before first hurdle

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Westminster Attack, Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obamacare, Europe's Unholy Alliances, Martin McGuinness (part 2)

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Export bans hit Brazil amid tainted meat scandal

Read more

Africa

French court suspends corruption trial of ‘Playboy’ son of Equatorial Guinea leader

© Jérôme Leroy, AFP | Teodorin Nguema Obiang arrives for his birthday party at Malabo Cathedral in Equatorial Guinea on June 25, 2013.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-01-04

A French court agreed on Wednesday to adjourn the corruption trial of the playboy son of Equatorial Guinea's leader at the request of his defence team.

Dates for the resumption of the trial, which opened on Monday, were being discussed, with the presiding judge in favour of June 19.

Teodorin Obiang, his country's vice-president, is suspected of using more than €100 million ($106 million) of state money to buy a mansion on one of the swankiest avenues in Paris as well as a collection of Italian supercars.

The trial is the first arising out of an unprecedented investigation into the French assets of a trio of African leaders accused of leading a life of luxury abroad while their citizens live in poverty.

Obiang's defence team had argued that the hearings for the trial, initially scheduled for the next few weeks, gave them too little time to call witnesses and prepare their defence.

Obiang, 47, the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has attempted to prevent the case coming to court and claims he is innocent. He says the money came from legitimate sources, not bribes or embezzlement as suspected by prosecutors.

Playboy son?

In October 2014, he agreed to surrender €26 million worth of assets in the US to avoid corruption charges there. His notorious American purchases included a €31 million Malibu house paid for in cash and nearly €1.6 million worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia.

Wild parties have forged his reputation as a notorious playboy.

Obiang once agreed to receive a French television crew in his suite at the plush Bristol hotel near the Champs-Elysées.

Talking of his pride in his wine collection, he was also filmed at the wheel of his now infamous sports and buying 30 suits at once from costly tailors.

"I'm always looking for something exceptional," he said on camera to a jeweller who was showing him a watch worth 146,000 francs at the time (€22,250, $23,250).

Born in 1969, Obiang was 10 when his father Teodoro Obiang Nguema overthrew his bloodthirsty uncle, the dictator Francisco Macias Nguema, who liked being called "the unique miracle of Equatorial Guinea".

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2017-01-04

  • EQUATORIAL GUINEA

    Son of Equatorial Guinea's president goes on trial for graft in Paris

    Read more

  • FRANCE - EQUATORIAL GUINEA

    Police seize Paris mansion of Guinean president's son

    Read more

  • EQUATORIAL GUINEA

    Equatorial Guinea president extends 36-year rule

    Read more

COMMENT(S)