Liberia president's son claims immunity after arrest at Paris party under curfew
Liberia President George Weah’s son was arrested last week in Paris for breaking Covid-19 curfew rules with a raucous house party. French police intervened at an apartment in an upscale neighbourhood of the capital and questioned George Weah Jr, who brandished his diplomatic passport, claiming diplomatic immunity.
French police visited an apartment on Avenue du Président Wilson, in the posh Alma-Marceau neighbourhood, at 3:20am early last week, following reports of excessive noise originating from a house party, according to reports from Le Parisien newspaper.
Officers discovered eight people partying at the apartment, rented through AirBnB, and cautioned them for not respecting Covid-19 measures. A 6pm curfew is currently in place across France, as part of restrictions designed to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Amongst the revellers was George Weah Jr, the 33-year-old son of Liberia’s President George Weah, who became famous in France during an illustrious football career in which he won the prestigious Ballon d’Or.
George Weah Jr was reportedly very drunk at the illegal party and following questioning by police officers brought out his diplomatic passport, claiming immunity from prosecution, according to a police source cited by Le Parisien.
He was arrested for insulting the police and resisting arrest and taken to the police station in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, then later released.
The French press reported that Paris authorities would be verifying the status of young Weah’s immunity. He is expected to appear before French justice on Thursday.
It is not the first time George Weah Jr, also an ex-footballer who previously played in Bulgaria, has caused a stir over his boisterous parties. Since the first coronavirus lockdown in France, he has hosted several gatherings, much to the chagrin of his neighbours in the tony Paris suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
Weah Jr is something of a party animal and likes to invite his friends over for champagne, jacuzzi, loud music and laughing gas, according to Le Parisien.
His 120m2 apartment with a large 50m2 balcony is rented for about 3,500 euros per month in the middle of the exclusive Pereire neighbourhood.
He is no stranger to police visits during his blowout parties, but each time he reportedly brandished his diplomatic passport.
Angry neighbours in Saint-Germain-en-Laye tell the story of regular parties – George Weah Jr gets up around between 3pm and 4pm, opens his shutters and immediately starts blasting music. Then night falls, girls start arriving and time for champagne.
Exasperated neighbours told Le Parisien reporter Maxime François of constant shouting, screams and laughing without any consideration for those trying to get to sleep. Then in the morning empty bottles of Ruinart, an expensive champagne, litter the sidewalk.
Some residents complain of feeling “terrified” by the guests at Weah Jr’s parties, describing them as “sinful” and “violent” people, while others sound off about the “enormous influence” of Weah Jr’s family.
Weah Jr denied the gathering at the Alma-Marceau flat was in fact a house party, according to an interview he gave to Le Parisien. Although he admitted he was at fault for going to join a footballer friend of his who had recently signed for a club.
He admitted to having claimed diplomatic immunity on occasion in France and elsewhere in the world, adding that he did not believe he was above the law. Regarding his neighbours in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, he said he apologises for any noise, saying it will not happen again.
His father called him about the incident and was said to be “very annoyed, very angry”, describing the police troubles as tarnishing the reputation of his family, that has otherwise been “very clean”.
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