Trial of Equatorial Guinea leader’s playboy son adjourned in France
A French court agreed on Wednesday to adjourn the corruption trial of the playboy son of Equatorial Guinea’s leader at the request of his defence team.
Dates for the resumption of the trial, which opened on Monday, were being discussed, with the presiding judge in favour of June 19.
Teodorin Obiang, his country’s vice-president, is suspected of using more than 100 million euros ($106 million) of state money to buy a mansion on one of the swankiest avenues in Paris as well as a collection of Italian supercars.
The trial is the first arising out of an unprecedented investigation into the French assets of a trio of African leaders accused of leading a life of luxury abroad while their citizens live in poverty.
Obiang’s defence team had argued that the hearings for the trial, initially scheduled for the next few weeks, gave them too little time to call witnesses and prepare their defence.
Obiang, 47, the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema, has attempted to prevent the case coming to court and claims he is innocent. He says the money came from legitimate sources, not bribes or embezzlement as suspected by prosecutors.