The debate is agitating the general opinion on the truthfulness of the information according to which, Maurice Kamto is the lawyer of Obiang Nguema’s son (often referred to as Teodorin), summoned in France in an “ill-gotten gains” case.
To understand the disbelief felt by some, it is relevant to immediately indicate that Mr Kamto is the one who defended with success Cameroon against Nigeria in the case of the nationality of the Bakassi Peninsula at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in 2002. The same who sacrificed material benefits when he resigned from the government in November 2011 while deputy Minister of Justice, to create his own party, the Movement for Cameroon’s Renaissance (MRC). An opposition party who main idea is moral integrity.
But the facts are there: Lawyer Maurice Kamto is indeed one of the counsels of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, Second Vice-President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in charge of Defence and State Security, as part of the … “ill-gotten gains” case.
Indeed, the ICJ informs that on 14 June 2016, the case defended by Maurice Kamto was submitted on 13 June against the French Republic, on a dispute dealing with “the immunity from criminal jurisdiction of the Second Vice-President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in charge of Defence and State Security [Mr Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue], and the legal status of the building which houses the Embassy of Equatorial Guinea in France”.
In its request, the ICJ explains, Equatorial Guinea indicates that this new legal proceeding originates from court action against Obiang Nguema Son in the French Justice from 2007, following several complaints registered by associations and private individuals against some African Heads of State and their family members, for “misappropriation of public funds in their country of origin, whose benefits were invested in France”.
According to Equatorial Guinea, these procedures “form a violation against the immunity to which [Mr Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue] is entitled based on the international law”. Additionally, in his request, the plaintive specified that the case is on the legal status of a building located at Avenue Foch in Paris. The country indicates that Obiang Nguema Son, former owner of the dwelling, sold this building to the Equato-Guinean State in September 2011 and since, the estate “has since been allocated to Equatorial Guinea’s diplomatic mission”.
On the airwaves of the French radio RFI, Lawyer Maurice Kamto declared on 18 October that this “is an irreparable damage when one knows that these are the offices of the Equatorial Guinean diplomatic mission, since an infringement on the building could breach the sovereignty, honour and dignity of Equatorial Guinea”.