25 April 2018

West Africa: French Tycoon Vincent Bollore Charged in Africa Probe

Photo: Copyleft/Wikimedia Commons
Vincent Bollore at a Unesco conference in 2013.

A French judge has indicted billionaire businessman Vincent Bollore in a corruption investigation. It's alleged that his company undercharged election publicity work to win public contracts in Africa.

Vincent Bollore's spokesman said the businessman, one of the most powerful in France, had been charged over allegations his firm helped two African leaders win elections so that it could later scoop up lucrative public contracts.

"Vincent Bollore has been indicted by Judge [Serge] Tournaire," Groupe Bollore said in a statement welcoming the fact that the 66-year-old would now have access to the evidence against him.

"Bollore, who continues to be presumed innocent, will now have access to this dossier whose content he had no knowledge of and will have the opportunity to answer these unfounded accusations," it added.

Bollore and two senior executives, group chief executive Gilles Alix, and the head of the international division of Havas, Jean-Philippe Dorent, appeared before magistrates after they were detained and questioned on Tuesday. Bollore was allowed to leave the court after the hearing.

French newspaper Le Monde said the investigation focused on port deals in the Togolese capital, Lome, and Conakry in Guinea.

The multinational group is alleged to have used Havas, its communication and marketing subsidiary, to bolster the election campaigns of Guinean President Alpha Conde and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe.

In return, the subsidiary known as Bollore Africa Logistics is alleged to have won contracts to operate shipping terminals after the leaders were elected.

The Bollore Group, which has interests in construction as well as logistics and media, said it "formally denied" any wrongdoing.

A Guinean government spokesman denied the allegations, saying they made "no sense."

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

(AFP, AP, Reuters)

West Africa

Civic Groups, Media Advocates, Nigerians Condemn Arrest of Premium Times Journalist

Local and international media rights advocates have criticised the police over the arrest and detention of PREMIUM… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Deutsche Welle. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.