Gabon: Sylvia Bongo indicted for “money laundering, receiving stolen goods, forgery and use of forgery”

Gabon: Sylvia Bongo Valentin, now ex-first lady, incarcerated

The Franco-Gabonese wife of the former president of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin, under house arrest since a military coup at the end of August for alleged embezzlement of public funds, has been imprisoned, said Thursday his lawyer.

The former first lady of Gabon is no longer under house arrest: the Franco-Gabonese Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin, wife of ex-president Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been incarcerated, her lawyer said Thursday, October 12. “I confirm it to you”, replied her French lawyer François Zimeray on Thursday, questioned by AFP about the incarceration of his client on Wednesday evening. Me Zimeray denounces “unlawful” and “arbitrary” procedure.

According to Gabonese media, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba was placed under arrest warrant at Libreville central prison late Wednesday evening after a new and lengthy hearing by an investigating judge. The former first lady, aged 60, was indicted on September 28, notably for “money laundering and forgery and use of forgery”. She had been kept under house arrest in Libreville since the first day following the August 30 putsch.

The soldiers who overthrew her husband by accusing those around him of having rigged his re-election, publicly suspected the former first lady of having “manipulated» her husband suffering from the after-effects of a serious stroke in 2018 and to have been, alongside their son Noureddin Bongo Valentin, the true de facto leader of the country since then and to have “massive misappropriation of public funds“. Noureddin Bongo has been in prison since the first day of the coup, notably charged with “corruption” And “embezzlement of public funds“.