News24

Graft: Cameroon's ex-minister tried

2012-07-27 13:08

Yaounde - A Cameroon court has started the trial of former interior minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya who is accused of embezzling $29 million dollars intended as a down-payment on a presidential jet.

The trial began on Thursday with two witnesses who gave evidence against Marafa, who is on trial with five co-accused. The hearing ran late into the night and is due to continue on Friday with ten more prosecution witnesses.

Marafa and his co-accused, including the head of the now defunct flag carrier Camair, Yves Michel Fotso, are accused of stealing €23.6m allocated in 2001 as a first payment for a Boeing plane for President A Cameroon court has started the trial of former interior minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya who is accused of embezzling $29m intended as a down-payment on a presidential jet.

Cameroon then rented another plane called the Albatross but this proved defective during a first flight with the presidential family and was forced to make an emergency landing.

At the beginning of May, a former ambassador to the United States, Jerome Mendouga, was jailed for 10 years in connection with the same affair.

Biya, who has been in power since 1982, has launched a major drive against corruption, which has seen several of his former aides brought before the courts.

He won election to a sixth term of office in October 2011 in a vote widely criticised by the opposition and diplomats as riddled with irregularities and fraud.