The wife of Gabon’s deposed President Ali Bongo Ondimba has been charged with “money laundering” and other offences, the public prosecutor said Friday, a month after a coup toppled her husband.
Sylvia Bongo Valentin has been under house arrest in the capital since her husband was overthrown on August 30, moments after being proclaimed the winner in a presidential election. Her eldest son, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, has already been charged with corruption.
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The former first lady was charged by an investigating judge on Thursday, prosecutor Andre Patrick Roponat announced on state TV channels on Friday. Her house arrest order has also been upheld, Roponat said.
One of her lawyers said earlier this month that she was being kept “incommunicado outside any legal framework”.
The Bongos’ son, Noureddin, has already been charged with corruption and embezzling public funds with several former cabinet members and two ex-ministers.
Ali Bongo took over when his father Omar died in 2009 after nearly 42 years in power. Now 64, Bongo ruled the country until his overthrow this August after the presidential election.
The election result was branded a fraud by the opposition and the military coup leaders, who have also accused his government of widespread corruption and bad governance.