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Wife of former Gabon leader, Sylvia Bongo jailed for money laundering


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The wife of former President of Gabon, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin, has been jailed for money laundering by the junta government in the Central African country.

Recall that her husband, Mr Ali Bongo Ondimba was booted out of office by the military in August through a coup.

Meanwhile, her conviction was confirmed by her lawyer, Francois Zimeray, on Thursday, October 12, 2023.

The lawyer disclosed that Sylvia, suspected of allegedly embezzling public funds, was jailed on Wednesday night.

Bongo’s wife was charged on September 28 with money laundering, forgery, and falsification of records. She has been under house arrest in Gabon’s capital, Libreville, since the August 30 coup brought the curtain down on 55 years of Bongo dynasty rule.

The junta alleged the former head of state and his entourage falsified the election results.

They accuse Sylvia and her son, Nourredin Bongo Valentin, of manipulating the former president, who has not fully recovered from a serious stroke in 2018.

They say the two have effectively run the oil-rich country for the past five years and have misused public money.

Nourredin Bongo Valentin has been placed in detention since the coup, charged with corruption.

“We condemned this illegal procedure. There is a difference between justice and arbitrary actions, between the law and revenge,” Zimeray added.

The public prosecutor in Libreville has not yet responded to an AFP request for comment.

Bongo, 64, who had ruled the central African country since 2009, was overthrown by military leaders moments after being proclaimed the winner in a presidential election.

Many saw it as an act of liberation rather than a military coup.

Bongo was elected after his father Omar died in 2009 after nearly 42 years in power.

Gabon is Africa’s third-richest nation in terms of per-capita GDP but one in three people lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.


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