The Republic of Equatorial Guinea has expressed its satisfaction with the ruling by International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague that recognizes the diplomatic nature of Paris a building that had been seized by French authorities.
It also expressed its disappointment that the high court said it lacked jurisdiction in the case against the Vice President, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue. Equatorial Guinea also called on France to withdraw the charges against the Vice President.
In an official statement, Equatorial Guinea said, “On demonstrating that the building is not “dishonestly acquired goods”, the French party should have finally withdrawn the accusation…as it was unsupported by the basis of the main accusation, and thus recognize unambiguously the immunity of [the Vice President].”
The Vice President, who is accused of money laundering in France, has denied any wrongdoing and says that his wealth was acquired legitimately.
Equatorial Guinea had previously lodged a formal complaint against France before the ICJ to halt the case against the Vice President on grounds of diplomatic immunity. The denial of this request by the ICJ allows France to pursue the case, which has already led to the seizure of assets in Switzerland, while the recognition of the property in Paris is binding under international law.
Equatorial Guinea stressed its commitment to pursue the case through the appropriate legal avenues of international justice and diplomacy between states, as advocated by the United Nations.