In an upcoming legal proceeding set for January 29 to February 1, a French court is poised to try Pascaline Bongo, the eldest daughter of Gabon’s former president, Omar Bongo, on allegations of corruption. This development follows initial reports by French daily Liberation.
Pascaline Bongo, who previously served as her father’s chief of staff until his passing in 2009, stands accused of facilitating French construction firm Egis Route in securing public contracts in Gabon during 2010-2011.
These allegations revolve around a purported promise of eight million euros (equivalent to $8.4 million today) in exchange for her assistance.
The defendant vehemently denies the bribery charges, as stated by her lawyer, Corinne Dreyfus-Schmidt, who maintains that there is no evidence pointing to any financial transactions. Liberation’s report suggests that Pascaline Bongo, now 67 years old, allegedly engaged in a “fraudulent partnership” with Egis Route, enabling the firm to participate as consultants in the establishment of Gabon’s public works agency.
This agency, initiated by Pascaline’s brother, Ali, following their father’s demise, oversaw significant infrastructure projects such as roads, stadiums, and public housing.
Additionally, the trial will include two former high-ranking managers from Egis Route and its current sales chief, Christian Laugier, all suspected of offering the eight-million-euro kickback for the public works contract.
Egis Route responded by expressing its intent to vigorously contest the corruption allegations.