France - Cameroon

Cameroonian president denies French fraud charge

AFP/Getty Images

Cameroonian President Paul Biya says he is not obliged to answer embezzlement charges brought against him in France, after it emerged that Paris prosecutors opened an enquiry into Biya last week.


Cameroonian association, the Union for an Active Diaspora (UDA), opened the case against Biya on 2 November, accusing him of using public funds to buy significant property in France.

A government spokesman said Thursday that Biya had learnt of the case via media reports and added that Biya does not own property in France.

"The government’s reaction is very simple: we declare that the president of the Republic of Cameroon is only answerable to his own people,” said Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

UDA is led by Célestin Djamen, a member of main opposition party the Social Democratic Front (SDF).

Biya’s government accuses the UDA of trying to tarnish the president’s image in the lead-up to elections, which are scheduled for October 2011.

“These are the same accusations people used before the 1992 elections and before the 2004 elections,” said Tchiroma.

Similar cases against the presidents of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon have been brought to French courts in the last two years by several associations.

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