The International Court of Justice on Friday ruled in favour of France on the limits of an African diplomat’s immunity.
ICJ’s pronouncement relates to President Teodoro Nguema Obiang’s £118 million Paris mansion involved in a corruption investigation which Equatorial Guinea had claimed it being diplomatic property.
According to Reuters Africa, the Obiang property, bought for 25 million euros in 2005, had 101 rooms, a gym, hair-dressing studio, disco, and a cinema.
However, “The court finds that the building at 42 Avenue Foch has never acquired the status of the mission of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in the French republic,” ICJ President Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf said.
In 2016, lawyers for Equatorial Guinea had asked ICJ to order France to stop Obiang’s criminal prosecution, arguing that he had immunity.
They also asked judges to rule that France broke the Vienna Convention, which safeguards diplomats from interference by a host country.
The Court, however, “Declares that the French Republic has not breached its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”
France has not violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an international treaty.
— JFJustice (@JFJustice) December 11, 2020