Who Stands to Benefit from France’s Pursuit of ‘Ill-Gotten Gains’?

Who Stands to Benefit from France’s Pursuit of ‘Ill-Gotten Gains’?
Equatorial Guinea’s president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, during the India-Africa Forum Summit, New Delhi, India, Oct. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Manish Swarup).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

In March 2007, a group of NGOs filed a complaint in France against the ruling families of a handful of African countries, alleging that property and other assets they owned in France were obtained via corruption. A decade of legal wrangling later, the first trial in the so-called “biens mal acquis,” or ill-gotten gains, affair is now in full swing, with hearings unfolding in Paris in the case of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the vice president of oil-rich Equatorial Guinea and son of the country’s long-serving dictator.

The trial has already offered its share of fireworks. This week, Simon Mann, a British mercenary who led a failed coup in Equatorial Guinea in 2004, testified—without offering any proof—that U.S. billionaire George Soros once plotted to overthrow the Obiang regime. Mann also said Transparency International lawyer William Bourdon was part of the scheme, prompting Bourdon to retort that Mann “had plumbed the depths of filth.”

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.