Gabon president’s spokesman detained in anti-corruption crackdown


LIBREVILLE (Information) – The spokesman for Gabonese President Ali Bongo was transferred to the capital’s foremost jail on Friday, his lawyer mentioned, one in all eight individuals held in custody beneath a brand new anti-corruption drive.

Bongo has vowed to crack down on graft since getting back from months-long medical depart following a stroke in late 2018 that raised questions on his health to rule and fueled instability in oil-dependent nation.

On Friday, prosecutor Andre Roponat mentioned 16 individuals had been detained as a part of an investigation into the misappropriation of public funds and money-laundering. Of those, eight have been positioned in pre-trial detention and eight have been launched on bail.

He didn’t present names, proof or element of the alleged crimes.

Earlier within the week, media stories mentioned that presidential spokesman Ike Ngouoni was a kind of detained.

When contacted by Information late on Friday, Ngouoni’s lawyer Carol Moussavou mentioned: “I affirm that my shopper has been positioned in custody at Libreville’s central jail.”

She didn’t give additional particulars.

Roponat mentioned it was too early to say who would face trial because the investigation was ongoing. “Pre-trial detention will not be a conviction,” he mentioned in an announcement.

Since his return from abroad medical depart in March, Bongo has fired his vice-president and the forests minister over a scandal linked to the disappearance of unlawful hardwood price $250 million, and tasked the prime minister with forming a brand new authorities with a view to tackling corruption.

Bongo’s household has been in energy for 5 many years within the small central African nation, the place declining oil revenues and widespread poverty have dented assist for his presidency.

Reporting by Gerauds Wilfried Obangome; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Modifying by Pravin Char