Published on : 27/12/2020 – 05:05
A year ago, Brice Laccruche Alihanga, former chief of staff of President Ali Bongo, was arrested and then imprisoned in the central prison of Libreville for embezzlement of public funds and money laundering. With him also fell more than a dozen former ministers, deputies and other senior state officials. Seized by Laccruche Alihanga’s lawyer, the UN working group against arbitrary detention calls for his release and that of his relatives.
With our correspondent in Libreville, Yves Laurent Goma
The opinion of the UN working group against arbitrary detention, dated December 10, totals 15 pages. The document lists the arguments of lawyers and counsel for Brice Laccruche Alihanga, Grégory Laccruche, Patrichi Tanasa, Julien Engonga Owono and Geaurge Ekoh. Their lawyers denounce a sloppy and non-compliant procedure, inhumane conditions of detention, torture in the cell and a long stay in solitary confinement.
The government, for its part, maintains that the procedures were regular. The respondents had visits from their lawyers and relatives.
In conclusion, the working group affirms that the detention of Lacccruche and his friends is ” arbitrary “. He calls for their immediate release and compensation. In a press conference given on Saturday, December 26, Anges Kevin Nzigou, the detainees’ lawyer, indicated that he expects Gabon to quickly implement this opinion:
« A six-month deadline has been set for the Gabonese government, which itself from January will be a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. »
When contacted, the government did not wish to react, saying it could communicate next week.