France cannot probe property – Nguesso
08 April 2013, 17:04
Paris – Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso on
Monday said, following a meeting with French counterpart Francois Hollande,
that French justice had no right to investigate his alleged ill-gotten gains.
"What we would like to recall is the principle to which
we all subscribe on the international level, which is that of non-interference
in internal affairs," Sassou Nguesso told journalists after more than an
hour of talks with Hollande.
Two Parisian prosecutors have been investigating the
conditions under which vast wealth - including French Riviera and Parisian
residences, fleets of cars and other property - were acquired in France by
Sassou Nguesso, as well as Gabon's late president Omar Bongo and President
Teodoro Obiang Nguema, as well as some of their close aides.
In 2008, the non-governmental organisations Sherpa and
Transparency International France filed a suit calling for an investigation
into the origin of these luxury assets. In 2010, the French Cour de Cassation
(Supreme Court) upheld this complaint over a lower court.
However, Sassou Nguesso said on Monday that the principle of
non-interference should be "respected so that French justice does not feel
it has the right to deal with matters that relate to the internal affairs of
Asked by a journalist whether he had lost any sleep over the
affair, the leader of the oil-rich central African country replied,