Flamboyant son of Africa’s longest-serving leader fined Sh3.2b

Teodorin Obiang [Photo: Courtesy]

An appeal court in France has fined Equatorial Guinea’s vice-president €30 million (Sh3.2 billion) for using public money to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Teodorin Obiang, 50, had challenged his 2017 conviction for embezzlement, but the court gave him a heavier sentence by refusing to suspend the fine. The court upheld a ruling of a lower court to seize his assets in France.

He is the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Africa’s longest-serving leader.

The president has been in power in the oil-rich state since 1979 and appointed his son as his deputy in 2012. The case against Mr Obiang was triggered by anti-corruption campaign group Transparency International and a similar non-government organisation, called Sherpa.

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Teodorin Obiang [Photo: Courtesy]

Obiang denied the charges, saying his wealth had come from legitimate sources.

He was not in court for his trial or appeal. His lawyers previously accused France of “meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state”.

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Between 2000 and 2011 Obiang acquired a collection of luxury assets and properties in France, including a €25 million (Sh2.7 billion) mansion. He also owned 18 luxury cars, artwork, jewellery and designer fashion, the court found.

The fate of the mansion is unclear, as Obiang’s lawyers have filed an appeal with the International Court of Justice arguing that it should be offered the same protection as a diplomatic building, AFP reports