Prosecutor orders house arrest
The former First Lady of Gabon, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, wife of deposed president Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been charged and remains under house arrest, the judiciary of this Central African country announced on Friday.
“Madame Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin appeared on Thursday September 28 before the examining magistrate, who charged her with money laundering, receiving stolen goods, forgery and use of forgeries,” Libreville public prosecutor Andre Patrick Roponat said on public television.
He also indicated that “house arrest” had been ordered against the wife of the president overthrown on August 30 by a military coup led by the current president of the transition, General Brice Oligui Nguema, a former commander of the Republican Guard.
In the aftermath of the coup, the junta searched the homes of high-ranking officials.
State television reported the discovery of a canteen and a safe full of money following a search of the office of Kim Oun, Sylvia Bongo’s collaborator.
The man declared that the funds belonged to the financial cell of the deposed president’s wife.
The couple’s son Noureddin Bongo Valentin was also previously charged and incarcerated in the central prison of Libreville, the Gabonese capital, for “corruption, embezzlement of public funds, money laundering, criminal association, falsification of the signature of the President of the Republic and disruption of electoral operations.”
Several other members of the presidential cabinet and former ministers have also been charged since the coup.
“Investigations are continuing and further arrests and indictments are envisaged,” Prosecutor Roponat said.