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Swiss probe into Teodorin Obiang finally closed

Publish date: 11 February 2019
Issue Number: 810
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Criminal

The Geneva Prosecutor’s Office has closed an investigation into Teodorin Obiang, the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea. The matter relates to money laundering and mismanagement of public assets. This after Equatorial Guinea on Thursday agreed to pay Geneva authorities $1.3m in ‘procedural costs’. These involved requests for legal assistance to the US, the Cayman Islands and Marshall Islands, France, the Netherlands, Monaco and Denmark. A report on the Swiff Info site notes that Geneva officials opened the inquiry into Obiang and two others in October 2016 at the request of French authorities and later seized 25 luxury vehicles in Geneva in 2016. The prosecutor’s office said all the vehicles seized in Geneva would be sold and the proceeds given to a social programme in Equatorial Guinea. This will be implemented 'transparently on the basis of an international accord negotiated by the Swiss Foreign Ministry’. Obiang and two other individuals had been facing prosecution for ‘money laundering and misappropriation of public assets’. Under the Swiss penal code, prosecutors can choose to drop charges in this category if defendants offer compensation ‘and restore a situation that is in conformity with the law.’

Prosecution statement (French)

Full report on the Swiss Info site