Gabon president's spokesman detained in anti-corruption crackdown

Gabon president
# 30 November 2019 21:43 (UTC +04:00)

The spokesman for Gabonese President Ali Bongo was transferred to the capital’s main prison on Friday, his lawyer said, one of eight people held in custody under a new anti-corruption drive, APA rpeorts quoting Reuters.

Bongo has vowed to crack down on graft since returning from months-long medical leave following a stroke in late 2018 that raised questions about his fitness to rule and fueled instability in oil-dependent nation.

On Friday, prosecutor Andre Roponat said 16 people had been detained as part of an investigation into the misappropriation of public funds and money-laundering. Of these, eight were placed in pre-trial detention and eight were released on bail.

He did not provide names, evidence or detail of the alleged crimes.

Earlier in the week, media reports said that presidential spokesman Ike Ngouoni was one of those detained.

When contacted by Reuters late on Friday, Ngouoni’s lawyer Carol Moussavou said: “I confirm that my client has been placed in custody at Libreville’s central prison.”

She did not give further details.