A villa belonging to the late Zairian dictator, Mobuto Sese Seko, is to be put under the auction hammer, four years after it was seized by the Swiss authorities at the request of the Congolese government.
The house in Savigny, canton Vaud, was seized along with other assets belonging to Mobutu in 1997. The former dictator is suspected of plundering millions from the former Zaire before he was ousted in a coup.
The Swiss authorities have now ordered the local district receivership office in canton Vaud to organise the sale of the house.
Bern wants to avoid continuing to pay for the upkeep of the unoccupied building. It also wants to sell the house before its value falls any further.
The proceeds from the sale are to be transferred to a blocked bank account after costs and taxes have been deducted.
The authorities have already frozen assets belonging to Mobutu and his associates worth SFr6 million ($3.5 million).
The Congolese government has still to make an official request for the return of these assets. The Swiss authorities reminded the Congolese of this legal requirement last November.
swissinfo with agencies