Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Sentences Officials for Corruption

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) has sentenced five government officials from the Ministry of Finance and Budget for their involvement in a corruption scheme. The officials had been convicted on charges of embezzlement, forgery of official documents and misappropriation of funds. These judicial sentences are part of Equatorial Guinea's ongoing anti-corruption and governmental transparency initiative.

Sentences were pronounced by the Court of Appeal of the Insular Region against former Finance Ministry officials on charges of embezzlement, forgery of official documents and misappropriation.

The former officials had been accused by the Ministry of Finance and Budget of acting in complicity with employees of the bank Societe Generale Banks in Equatorial Guinea (SGBGE). The panel of the Court of Appeal consisted of the President of the Court of Appeal Bioco, Antonio Pascual Oko, Magistrate Adelaida Casana; Judge Antonio Ntutumu Afana and Secretary Metodio Esono Angong Andeme.

To promote greater judicial transparency, relatives and friends of the accused, as well as members of the media and the general public were present at the Palace of Justice for the pronouncement of sentencing.

The Court convicted Ernesto Abeso Onana and Adolfo Mba Ela for the crime of forgery of stamps. Each defendant was sentenced to two years and one day of imprisonment in a medium-security prison and fined one million Central African Francs (XAF).

Ernesto Abeso Onana, Adolfo Mba Ela, Martin Nseng Monsuy, Angel Salvador Elo Micue and Astrina Micue Ndongo have been convicted of falsification of public documents and official trade. They have been sentenced to two years and one day to imprisonment in a medium-security facility and fined 2 million XAF.

Ernesto Abeso Onana, Adolfo Mba Ela, Martin Nseng Monsuy, Angel Salvador Elo Micue were convicted of embezzlement. They have been sentenced to a term of 17 years, four months and one day of imprisonment in a maximum-security facility.

Juan Nguema Ondo, Astrina Micue Ndong, Agustin Ndong Ndong Bibang, Sunday Oyecunle Ladele and Benjamin Obama Obono have been convicted of misappropriation and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in a maximum-security facility.

Yolanda Ncono Onana and Antonio Eko Owono Nchama were convicted as accessories and sentenced to one year and six months imprisonment in a minimum-security facility.

The convicted perpetrators are also required to make restitution in the amount of 258,518,748 XAF.
The following 11 defendants were acquitted of all charges and released:

•Virgilio Ela Motu
•Eugenia Evuna
•Manuel Ndong
•Alain Kain
•Jacinto Nzo Ona
•Martin Mambo Umaru
•Amadeo Akono Mba
•Timothy Micha Nze
•Miguel Esono Micha
•Pedro Micho Ondo
•Jose Antonio Ipo Bokoko