Press release on process regarding dishonestly acquired goods

The Equatorial Guinea Embassy in France welcomes the fact that the French Government is addressing the problem of the restitution of goods seized within the framework of the so called “dishonestly acquired goods” process.

Within the current framework of French legislation these goods are seized by the Agency for the Management and Recovery of Seized and Confiscated Goods (AGRASC) but due to the lack of a framework to organise their restitution to the populations that French justice considers to be the injured party they in fact return to the budget of the French State.

This situation is unfair. Why would the French State be more legitimate than the populations presented as the injured parties to benefit from these goods? In addition there is a persistent lack of transparency in the use or final provision for the assets. The countries in question are neither informed or consulted.

In order to rectify the situation last May the Senate approved a draft law proposing the principle of restitution to the people. It also designated two deputies to examine and make proposals regarding the returns. The Government that supported this initiative is committed to a restitution mechanism “by the end of 2019 at the latest”.

Through this initiative France (finally) will be at the level of Switzerland which has offered returns to the populations with greater transparency and in consultation with the interested countries.

Without doubt this step forward will contribute towards a further improvement in the diplomatic relations between Equatorial Guinea and France undermined over twelve years by the so called case of dishonestly acquired goods.

Last August Jean Baptiste Lemoyne Secretary of State from the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs visited Equatorial Guinea where he was received by the President of the Republic.

In recent days the President of the Republic H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo made a private visit to Paris to attend the funeral of the former French president Jacques Chirac a great friend of Africa who did so much for the continent.

For the Equatorial Guinea Embassy there is a breach between the media treatment of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Paris for the funeral of Chirac and the warm welcome given to him by French authorities and the thank you at the lunch offered by the President H. E. Emmanuel Macron to honour the memory of one of the great presidents of the French Republic and great friend of Africa.

Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

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