Silvia Bongo Valentin, the wife of deposed Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been arrested for “money laundering” and other offenses. The public prosecutor announced that her husband was overthrown in a coup on August 30, shortly after being proclaimed the winner in a presidential election. Noureddin Bongo Valentin, the eldest son of the woman, has been accused of corruption.
The charges were made by an investigating judge on Thursday, and her house arrest order has been upheld. Her lawyer stated that she was being kept “incommunicado outside any legal framework.” The Bongos’ son, Noureddin, has also been charged with corruption and embezzling public funds with several former cabinet members and two ex-ministers. Ali Bongo took over after his father Omar died in 2009, and the election result was branded a fraud by the opposition and military coup leaders.