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Accuser Of Equatorial Guinea's Vice President To Face Trial In France For Defamation

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue says charges are without foundation.

Government of Equatorial Guinea questions motives behind charges.

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A French judge has agreed to investigate charges of criminal defamation brought by the Second Vice President of Equatorial Guinea against Daniel Lebegue, president of Transparency International of France. 

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue's complaint with the French court charges that Mr. Lebegue has been making unfounded charges in the French justice system and the media for years without proof and for the sole purpose of damaging the reputation of the President of Equatorial Guinea and his family and driving the President from office.

Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue is the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Mr. Lebegue specifically charges the Vice President and his family with using public funds to acquire personal property in France.

Mr. Lebegue did not comply with a summons earlier this year to appear in an Equatorial Guinean court to answer charges about his personal business activities in Equatorial Guinea and offer evidence for his accusations against the country's leaders.  Mr. Lebegue was a director of the French oil-services company Technip, which has done business in Equatorial Guinea.

"This trial will demonstrate the absence of any evidence of wrongdoing attributed to the Vice President and to highlight the true motives of Mr. Lebegue, who has just been fired from Technip," the government of Equatorial Guinea said in a statement.

About Equatorial Guinea

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) is the only Spanish-speaking country in Africa, and one of the smallest nations on the continent. In the late-1990s, American companies helped discover the country's oil and natural gas resources, which only within the last five years began contributing to the global energy supply. Equatorial Guinea is now working to serve as a pillar of stability and security in its region of West Central Africa. The country hosted the 2011 Summit of the African Union, 2012 Africa Cup of Nations and 2012 Leon H. Sullivan Summit. For more information, visit

SOURCE Republic of Equatorial Guinea