AFP / Paris
A group of Guinean dissidents said they had filed a lawsuit in France yesterday, accusing President Alpha Conde and others of corruption, money laundering and influence-peddling.
The complaint was filed with the French national financial prosecutor, Jean-Baptiste Soufron, a lawyer for the Collective for Change in Guinea (CTG), told a press conference.
The announcement was made amid speculation that Conde this week will be named a candidate in upcoming elections — a scenario that has sparked fierce protests in the West African country. Soufron said the lawsuit “targets a range of activities which have taken place since 2012-13, partly in Paris and partly in Guinea, and which support concerns about corruption benefitting Alpha Conde, his son Mohamed Conde, but also Defence Minister Mohamed Diane.”
The complaint focusses on a concession to exploit rich bauxite reserves in Boke, western Guinea, CTG said.
The concession was first awarded to a French company called ARM, set up in 2015, which then sold the rights to a French-Chinese-Singaporean consortium for 171mn euros ($201mn), according to the CTG.
The Guinean government did not immediately respond to an AFP request for comment, although a source close to the presidency said the lawsuit was “provocation...(and) pure slander.”
“Every time an important date comes up, we are targeted for blackmail,” the source said.
The CTG’s spokesman, Ibrahim Sorel Keita, said: “This is the best time to hope that people will wake up and learn about the realities of the financial activities of this regime.”
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