Gabon leader's chief-of-staff freed after being held in Paris

2015-08-04 14:53

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - The Gabonese president's chief-of-staff was freed Tuesday after being briefly detained at a Paris airport on suspicion of corruption as he was about to fly back to Libreville.

Maixent Accrombessi, who is very close to Gabonese leader Ali Bongo Ondimba, was detained at Paris's main Charles de Gaulle airport "for corruption of a foreign public official", said a French judicial source, who wished to remain anonymous.

However, a few hours later, his lawyer Francis Szpiner told AFP: "He is leaving soon for Gabon and will continue to carry out his duties."

The arrest sparked fury in Gabon. A presidential statement "protested strongly" against the arrest which "violates the fundamental principles of international law".

The case in question has "nothing to do with his duties as chief-of-staff" and is an attempt to "humiliate" Accrombessi and "attack" Gabon, the statement said.

Diplomatic immunity

The arrest is part of a probe by Paris prosecutors into the 2006 awarding of a contract in Gabon to a French military uniforms manufacturer.

Accrombessi is hugely influential in Gabon, having worked with Bongo when he was defence minister, and again when he became president.

A legal source close to the case said that when he was arrested, he was not in possession of a document proving he was on an official mission in France.

"He therefore did not benefit from diplomatic immunity which would have prevented any measures against him," said the source.

However, a few hours later, Gabonese officials sent a certificate saying that Accrombessi was on an official mission.

"The French foreign office validated this letter and the prosecutors had to let him go," said this source.

Read more on:    ali bongo ondimba  |  gabon  |  west africa

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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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

Hello 

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.

Settings

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.