24 July 2012

Cameroon: Marafa Hamidou Yaya's Case Adjourned for Thursday

Defence lawyers are expected to go over the 25-kg case file before tomorrow's hearing.

The Presiding Judge of the Mfoundi High Court, Gilbert Schlick, on Tuesday July 24 adjourned the hearing of the trial pitting the Legal Department and State of Cameroon against Marafa Hamidou Yaya, Yves Michel Fotso and four others, to Thursday July 26. The adjournment followed a request by defence lawyers that more time be given to enable them digest the case file which they received later than expected after the trial opened on July 16.

Former Minister Marafa Hamidou Yaya, Businessman Yves Michel Fotso and CBC Bank employee Nkounda Julienne answered present when the hearing started around 1.30 p.m. yesterday. They pleaded not guilty to the charges of complicity in the embezzlement of 29 million US Dollars (about FCFA 15 billion) disbursed by the National Hydrocarbons Company (SNH) between 2001 and 2004 to purchase a new presidential aircraft (BB2-J).

The hearing yesterday was scheduled to kick-start the examination of 14 prosecution witnesses. Conspicuous among the witnesses present in the courtroom was former Finance Minister Michel Meva'a Meboutou.

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