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Abacha's son found guilty in Geneva

Abba Abacha, son of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, has been found guilty by a Geneva judge of being a member of a criminal organisation.

The investigating judge, Yves Aeschlimann, ordered the confiscation of $350 million ($ 345 million) seized during the investigation in Luxembourg and the Bahamas. He also imposed a suspended prison sentence on Abacha.

Between 1993 and his death in 1998, General Abacha is said to have plundered up to SFr3 billion from the coffers of Nigeria. Most of the SFr870 million which was frozen in Switzerland has already been returned to the African country.

The Swiss legal proceedings were opened in 1999 following a request from the Nigerian authorities.

The Geneva judge also condemned a financial intermediary living in Monaco for supporting the Abacha organisation. He is required to pay SF10 million, a sum which corresponds to the illicit gains he made while handling stolen funds.

This may not be the final chapter in the Abacha saga. If the parties accept the decision of the investigating judge, the judgement comes into force but if they reject it the case will go to court.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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