Pascaline Bongo, the sister of Gabon’s former President Ali Bongo, is expected to stand trial in France in January 2024. She is facing charges of corruption.
Ali Bongo’s sister stands accused of allegedly facilitating public contracts in Gabon between 2010 and 2011 on behalf of the French construction company Egis Route. It is alleged that she did so in exchange for a promised reward of 8 million euros ($8.4 million; £6.9 million).
Pascaline Bongo, who previously held the position of chief of staff under her late father, Omar Bongo, has denied the allegations.
According to Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt, the lawyer representing Ms. Bongo, there was no communication with anyone, no contractual agreement was made, and there is no evidence indicating any money transfer.
“[she] was never in contact with anyone, no contract was signed and none of the evidence points to a transfer of money,” they said.
Egis Route informed AFP that they will strongly contest the corruption allegations.
The legal issue will involve Ali Bongo’s sister, Pascaline, and Egis Route, as well as a minimum of five other individuals.
In Gabon, Sylvia, the wife of Ali Bongo, is facing charges of money laundering, receiving stolen property, forgery, and the use of forged documents.
Noureddin Bongo Valentin, her son, has also been charged with corruption and embezzlement, and he has been placed in pre-trial detention.
On August 30, military and police chiefs collaborated to execute a peaceful coup, which received widespread support from politicians, civil society, and the general public. This significant event marked the end of the Bongo family’s 55-year rule.
The new regime has made a commitment to conduct free elections and transfer power back to civilian authorities. The specific date for this transition will be determined through a “national dialogue”.
The military expressed its hope that elections will be held sometime between April and June of 2024.