The Chief Prosecutor of the Provincial Court of Bioko Norte, Rafael Ondo Nguema, has announced that this week in Malabo the criminal trial against the companies SOMAGUI FORESTAL S.L., EDUM S.L. and SOCAGE S.L. will begin, as a consequence of the investigation opened by Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office, on 12th April.
The investigation, requested on 2nd April of this year by the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea “regarding supposed crimes committed by the Equatoguinean people against the interests of the State”, according to Ondo Nguema.
Ondo Nguema recalled that, following the complaint lodged by the Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office, and after the investigation was opened on 21st April, Malabo investigating judge number 1 began a presentation of the indictment, which concluded on 2nd May.
For his part, the lawyer Pascual Nsue Eyi, representing the three companies, pointed out that confronting his clients are “supposed crimes of breach of trust and misuse of common goods”.
Recalling that the companies he represents are all legally constituted in the country, Nsue Eyi said that the work given to them by the Government has been carried out and delivered in accordance with current State Contract Law in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Nsue Eyi maintained that, with respect to companies or firms set up to make a profit, it is normal that, when they evaluate each year end and the payment of dividends, “legally the shareholders are free, after the payment of dividends, to do with the acquired dividends whatever they want”.
Sergio Esono Abeso Tomo, representing the interests of the Vice President of the Republic, Charged with Defence and State Security, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, recalled during a press conference that “in France my client was not accused directly, but the companies of which he is a shareholder, with other shareholders or as sole shareholder, who had won contracts for work that had not been executed, and the funds had served to amass assets outside Guinea”.
He also revealed that the 34-page order from the French legal dispute, the hearing of which is set for 19th June, “tries to perform intellectual gymnastics in order to get to our client in any way”.
Nguema Obiang Mangue, who is majority shareholder and sometimes the sole shareholder of the companies SOMAGUI FORESTAL S.L., EDUM S.L, and SOCAGE S.L., obtained contracts for work that was carried out, such as the Ebebiyin-Mongomo road, among others.
However, the French order affirms that the money paid “instead of carrying out work, was used to acquire assets”, while at the same time adding that the money “originated through corruption”.
Source: Official Web Page of the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea