Equatorial Guinea’s government has tirelessly worked to stop the prosecution of the president’s eldest son, known as Teodorin Nguema, who is accused of laundering tens of millions of Euros in France that were allegedly stolen from his oil-rich country. But yesterday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – the United Nation’s main court – dashed its last hope of stopping the trial, which is set for January 2.
The decade-long French case produced a mountain of evidence indicating Teodorin looted €110 million from the public treasury to finance his lavish lifestyle. That is about the same amount of money Equatorial Guinea spent on its entire public health system in 2008, according to the World Bank.
Between 2004 and 2007, Teodorin bought a mansion on the exclusive Avenue Foch, assembled a collection of 34 luxury cars and motorcycles, and spent millions more on luxury goods. A separate US investigation revealed that he also went on a US$110 million spending spree in the United States, buying a California mansion and a jet. At the time, Teodorin was Minister of Forestry, for which he earned a salary of under US$100,000.