Equatorial Guinea seeks to halt French case against its vice president

Teodoro Nguema Obiang
Teodoro Nguema Obiang

Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday called on judges at the International Court of Justice to order France to halt proceedings against its vice president on charges money laundering and corruption, arguing that he is immune from prosecution.

The country is seeking urgent intervention to block the trial of Teodorin Obiang which is due to open on 24 October. Teodorin is the son of President Teodoro Obiang.

Teodorin is being accused of acquiring real estate in Paris, luxury cars, a Private jet art and other goods in France with public funds from his country. A French court ruled that the charges relate to his private life in France and not to his official functions when he claimed immunity.

Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Carmelo Vvono Nca, on Wednesday told a panel of judges that failure to stop the French case would cause irreparable damage to the country’s sovereign rights and reputation.

“You (France) have made false accusations against my country,” he said. “With the judicial proceedings entertained by the French court, they are prejudicing the right of the sovereign state of Equatorial Guinea in its duty to pursue international relations with states and international bodies.”

He asked the court to suspend all criminal proceedings against Obiang, Reuters reports