Equatorial Guinea’s flamboyant Vice President, Teodorin Obiang Nguema has gone on trial in absentia in France over allegations of corruption and money laundering. Teodorin Obiang Nguema, who has been in the spotlight for his extravagance saw his legal wrangles begin when Swiss authorities seized 11 luxury cars belonging to him.
Among the cars were a Bugatti Veyron worth $2 million as well as an $800,00 Porsche sports car. In 2014, after U.S authorities accused him of acquiring property from proceeds of corruption, he gave up a Malibu mansion as well as a Ferrari sportscar.
He now stands accused of using public funds of oil rich Equatorial Guinea to purchase a six-storey villa in Paris thought to be worth around $100m.
The government of Equatorial Guinea unsuccessfully sought to stop his trial in France by appealing to the International Court of Justice on the grounds that he had diplomatic immunity.
Mr Obiang’s lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, has in the interim asked the court to delay the trial, citing the need for ample time to prepare his client’s defense.
“Believe me, Mr Nguema is not a big-time bandit. He just wants his rights observed,”