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Former Elf CEO faces court in Togo

  International  -   POSTED: 2012/09/17 11:58

Loik Le Floch-Prigent, the former chief executive officer of the French oil corporation Elf, was extradited to Togo from Ivory Coast and will soon appear before a High Court judge here on charges of abetment of crime to defraud an Emirati businessman.

The purported scam against Abass Al Youssef was for $48 million. Earlier, the businessman lodged a complaint against Togolese businessman Bertin Sow Agba in the case. Sow Agba is a cousin of former Togolese Interior Minister Pascal Bodjona, who was also arrested after the Emirati businessman implicated him in the scam.

The case has rocked this small West African nation. In early September, hundreds of Bodjona's supporters besieged police headquarters and were dispersed by police firing tear gas. Bodjona has been charged with being an accomplice in the financial scam and has pleaded not guilty.

Le Floch-Prigent, who was convicted in France in several cases relating to his 1989-1993 tenure at Elf and handling of its finances, was extradited on Saturday from Ivory Coast. His court appearance in Togo was expected to happen on Monday or Tuesday.

In the older cases of wrongdoing, an investigation in the 1990s revealed a system of bribes and kickbacks in Elf's international business dealings. Elf later merged with another French company, and the new entity was renamed Total.

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