Pascaline Bongo Faces French Justice on Allegations of Corruption

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Pascaline Bongo

In a groundbreaking trial opening this Monday in France, Pascaline Bongo is being judged at the Paris Judicial Court. The daughter of the late Gabonese president Omar Bongo and sister to Ali Bongo, the former head of state ousted in a coup in August, is facing charges of passive corruption of a foreign public official. She is suspected of intervening, in exchange for financial gain, to assist a French company in securing a public contract in Gabon.

Known for her usual discretion, Pascaline Bongo will now find herself in the spotlight as she attends her trial. The eldest of the Bongo siblings is accused of engaging in a “fictitious partnership” with the French company Egis, particularly its subsidiary, Egis Route. Her alleged role was to aid the company in participating in the establishment of Gabon’s National Agency for Major Projects.

This agency, initiated by her brother Ali Bongo, oversaw significant infrastructure projects such as roads and stadiums. In exchange for her assistance, Pascaline Bongo is said to have received 8 million euros. Two former executives from Egis Route, along with the current commercial director, are also among the accused.

Pascaline Bongo’s lawyer expresses confidence, describing the case as a “legal absurdity.” Attorney Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt raises concerns about “issues of prescription, jurisdiction, and the qualification of the alleged acts.” She contends that the investigation has been rushed to bring a well-known figure to trial at all costs. The trial will undoubtedly shed light on the complexities surrounding the allegations and the legal intricacies of the case.

Soukaina Sghir

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