Justice: good news for Mebe Ngo’o

Justice: good news for Mebe Ngo’o

N Melo
by N Melo
September 4, 2022 0

Justice: good news for Mebe Ngo’o

Out of arguments and forced to pour into dilatory action against the accused who is none other than Colonel Elie Mboutou, yesterday’s hearing, postponed at the request of Me Xaverie Kangue, lawyer for the civil party, for the cross-examination on the facts of accusation against the soldier before the French justice, goes around in circles.

The hearing was opened at 10:20 a.m. After the usual formalities, the floor was passed to Me Kangue. Anxious to provide a faithful account of this affair from the start, the Messenger has transcribed below the verbatim exchange between the two protagonists. You said you were the Deputy Head of Military Secretariat. Was there a Head of Military Secretariat at Mindef? Did you have a supervisor? Yes During the hearing of June 24, 2022, you gave the name of your line manager, Captain of the Vaisseau Tchouatat, can you say why the main accused chose you and not him to monitor the said markets?

Why did the main defendant take the trouble to introduce you to Franchitti and François Gontier? Is it because he trusted you the most? Here is what I declared before this court: “These needs were transmitted by the Minister to the Head of the Military Secretariat, my line manager, who then quoted them to me”. I provided this court with the statements of needs with the annotations of the Minister and the Chief Military Secretariat. During your hearings on October 16, 2019 and January 27, 2020, you maintained that you only deal with MagForce Special Markets. Can you confirm it? Yes.

I had said that “I was only concerned with monitoring the contracts carried out by Magforce International or the companies presented by it and two or three companies that I indicated at my last hearing”. Did these companies have Franchitti as de facto managers or to corroborate the Examining Judge Thepaut, were they shell companies of Robert Franchitti? I cannot know who owned the companies, I received quotes and presented them to the Minister for approval. You said you never saw the leaders of these companies? I had never met them. You said you never saw the leaders of these companies? I had never met them. You said you never saw the leaders of these companies? I had never met them.

You stated that you only had personal relations with the main defendant, but during the searches dated April 9, 2019, copies of the special contracts were found at your home for amounts approaching more than one billion . Can you tell us why these Markets ended up in your home? I don’t know if the fact of finding official documents at my house shows that I had more than a professional relationship with the former minister. Did these special contracts have the approval of the Financial Controller? No. It was not about the markets of May 20 registered in the budget, but about the markets with special financing, paid by a special structure. The material objects of these markets had been presented to the examining magistrate, allow me not to return to it for security needs.

During your hearing on October 16, 2019, you declared that you had received in France during your medical consultation the sum of €5,000 and two salons during your 2nd marriage. Do you confirm it? Yes, I confirm it. During your arrest in France, you were staying at the Majestic hotel in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, a 5-star hotel, where the room costs 300,000 CFA francs.

What was your salary? My arrest, on April 6, 2016 in Paris, falls under French procedure. To talk about this procedure, I am going to make a clarification: it was I who indicated this arrest before this court, saying that I was being prosecuted in France for acts of corruption and I could not also be prosecuted here for the same facts. I do not wait to answer questions on the procedure in France, out of respect for the principle of lis pendens. Did you know that Robert Franchitti lived in the same 16th arrondissement? I said that I did not answer questions about the procedure in France. Who was your contact in France with regard to special markets? I sent the statements of needs to Elisabeth Charlon and it was from her that I received the quotes.

Wasn’t Ms. Charlon your interlocutor quite simply because she was aware of your role as the main collaborator of the Client specializing in monitoring Magforce markets? I reiterate that the mutual legal assistance had been produced to demonstrate that I am being prosecuted in France and that I had been heard by the Cameroonian investigating judge on the basis of this mutual assistance. With regard to my role in the special markets, I think I have spoken sufficiently and at length about it. I’m sure if I picked it up here it might be annoying. How do you respond to the statements of Roger Levy who affirms: “having given you 704,000 euros in cash during the year 2014”? During my hearing on April 16, 2020, I said that it was impossible to give me during the year 2014 the sum of 400. 000 euros in cash, in envelopes of 20,000 and 30,000 euros each time I go to France, as it was said. It would have been 20 trips or 30 trips, whereas in 2014 I had only made 2 trips to France and 3 transits.

I make a point of saying that these people had retracted during the hearings which followed. Do you confirm that you received Mrs. Shanon’s cash? I can’t confirm the statements of someone I don’t even know. Robert Franchitti claimed to have paid a commission of 3 to 15% included in the overall invoice to intermediaries, business introducers or lobbyists close to power whose role was to appoint Magforce as a supplier, by rewarding the principals with the commissions . Were you not, as a privileged client, one of these business introducers? This is the worst insult that the Senior Officer that I am, receives here, and out of respect for the other trades, I prefer to say nothing. The floor is given to

These needs were translated into cost estimates, ie proforma invoices, and were sent back to me”. Are these your words? Yes. At that time were you already dealing with Magforce submissions? Yes. At the hearing of June 24, 2022, at the end of your examination-in-chief and rejecting the relevance of the precautionary measures of investigation taken against you, you affirmed: “the measures rather concerned me who had not heard talk about Magforce only on February 13, 2019”. Which of these two statements is incorrect? That day, I was talking about Magforce Cameroon, which incidentally was the subject of Anif’s correspondence. I had said and reiterates that I only became aware of Magforce Cameroon on this day of February 13, 2019.

Do you hold or have you taken shares in a Cameroonian company? To my knowledge, no.

In the report of the French justice following the International Rogatory Commission, the following is noted: that the deposit account No. FR-03-3000006-9300 opened by Mboutou on October 22, 2001, in the books of the Crédit Lyonnais counter Ag-Int-Cl recorded a total credit of €48,669.18 on 02/14/2020, and a debit of €50,521.95, half of which involved the purchase and sale of shares. What actions are these? These are not company shares, but financial products offered by the manager and which would interfere with the profits returned to the account. On October 16, 2019, you indicated that you had paid the deposit of €50,000. Do you confirm it? I confirm that. This makes a balance of 32,800,000 CFA francs.
We know that you received 500,000 FCFA. Can you tell us about the origin of the funds? I had actually paid a deposit of €45,000, spread over 9 installments over 18 months. I paid €5,000, or 3,200,000 FCFA, every two months, at a time when I was receiving a monthly diplomatic salary of more than 2,600,000 FCFA. So over two months I had more than 5 million FCFA in income which allowed me to easily pay this sum of more than 3 million.

In addition, my two wives are all executives of private companies. I am a First Degree Traditional Chief in charge of agropastoral and fish farming activities. At the end of this cross-examination, the finding that emerges is that no contradiction was brought to the accused Mboutou Elie following his examination-in-chief? What do we finally blame this senior officer and what justifies his indictment and his imprisonment for more than 3 years? Isn’t the proximity with Mebe Ngo’o the only crime committed by this Senior Officer who also, at the very least, had the same proximity with Amadou Ali and Laurent Esso? If that were the case, what are we reproaching Mebe Ngo’o for in this procedure where the soldiers never claimed the effects of clothing and where the materials of the Polytechnologies project are available and visible? See you on September 6, 2022!

N Melo
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