E Guinea probes graft watchdog for slander

2012-04-17 14:59
Libreville - Equatorial Guinea's public prosecutor has launched a probe into whether the head of the French wing of corruption watchdog Transparency International slandered the country, officials said on Tuesday.

The investigation of Daniel Lebegue comes after French prosecutors called for an international arrest warrant for Teodorin Obiang, the son of Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, to face questioning in a corruption probe that grew out of Transparency International accusations.

"The public prosecutor has opened an investigation Monday on the statements by Daniel Lebegue ... who has stated in international media that Equatorial Guinea is a country where corruption obstructs business, the authorities are corrupt and there is no safety in the justice system," a statement said.

"The public prosecutor is studying these remarks by Mr Lebegue that could constitute the offence of slander and insulting the state, since paradoxically ... Mr Lebegue is, among other positions he holds, director and auditor of the company Technip SA, which operates in the Aseng oil fields.

"Mr Lebegue has neither detected nor denounced any corruption in the operations his company is undertaking in Equatorial Guinea," it added.

French authorities opened probes in 2010 into the sources of money spent in France by Obiang, Congo-Brazzaville's President Denis Sassou Nguesso, and Omar Bongo, the late president of Gabon.

The investigation follows charges brought in 2008 by Transparency International alleging that the leaders and their relatives spent state funds on lavish purchases in France.

The case has drawn Equatorial Guinea's ire, with Malabo threatening to take retaliatory measures against French companies and demanding that Paris halt the investigation.

Teodorin Obiang's lawyer has said his French purchases were made "in perfect transparency".

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

/South Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.