Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin, the wife of Gabon’s deposed president Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has been under house arrest since the military coup in late August, has been officially jailed.
According to The AFP, she was suspected of embezzling public funds, and the legal proceedings leading to her imprisonment have been criticized as arbitrary and illegal.
Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin was charged on September 28 with multiple offenses, including money laundering, forgery, and falsification of records.
Following her charges, she had been placed under house arrest in Libreville in the aftermath of the military coup that led to the ousting of her husband from the presidency.
The coup was accompanied by allegations from the military that the former head of state and his associates had manipulated election results.
They also openly accused Sylvia Bongo Ondimba Valentin of exerting undue influence on her husband, especially since he suffered a severe stroke in 2018.
Francois Zimeray, Sylvia Bongo’s lawyer, condemned the procedure leading to her imprisonment, describing it as arbitrary and illegal.
The situation underscores the complex and tumultuous political climate in Gabon, with allegations of corruption and power manipulation at the heart of the matter.