29 November 2018
A French monitoring group and the Collectif européen de la diaspora djiboutienne (European Collective of the Djiboutian Diaspora) had filed a complaint against the entourage of Djiboutian president for acquiring substantial property in France, the weekly news magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur wrote.
The monitoring group, Sherpa and the Diaspora group said they filed the complaint on 16 October for “misuse of corporate assets”, “embezzlement of public resources”, “breach of trust” and “bribery of foreign public officials”, according to the magazine.
In this affair of suspicion of “ill-gotten gains”, the lawyer of Sherpa, Me Apolline Cagnat, wonders about the conditions of acquisition, by the family of the president of Djibouti Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, of “a valuable real estate property in France, mainly in Paris, the financing of which [..] simply because of the remunerations poured to the members of [his] family and to his relatives.”
The complaint mentions three apartments that are said to be owned by the son-in-law of the president and his daughter in the 8th, 16th and 17th districts of the French capital.
The complaint filed for abuse of corporate property, embezzlement of public funds, breach of trust, bribery of foreign public officials, concealment and money laundering also refers to the “likely central role,” played by BCI-Mr, a branch of the French bank Bred, in which the president’s daughter and her husband hold numerous accounts. The file is in the hands of the national financial prosecutor.
After reviewing the complaint, the prosecutor will decide whether to open a preliminary investigation or close the case.
Sherpa in the past has gone after other African leaders, mining companies for activities that allegedly impoverish communities and violate human rights. Legal actions had been taken against the daughter and son-in-law of Congo’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Equatorial Guinea’s vice president, Teodorin Obiang.