Monday, May 7, 2012

Albatross Saga:Jean Marie Atangana Mebara Could be Issued another Detention Order

 
Jean Marie Atangana Mebara, former Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic, who was last Thursday acquitted of three charges of attempt and conspiracy to embezzle, amongst others, 31 million US Dollars is still in detention at the Kondengui Prison whereas found not blameworthy.
Yet, Mfoundi High Court in Yaounde last week acknowledged him not on the wrong side of the law of the three charges. Four days after his exoneration, Jean Marie Atangana Mebara has still not been set free. Late Friday evening, the surroundings of the Mfoundi High Court’s State Counsel’s office were crowded with relatives, friends and reporters waiting for a sign from the lead counsel, Claude Assira who was expecting the document necessary for the Yaounde Central Prison to grant liberty to the former Secretary General. However, the document had not been issued by any of the State Counsels.
Confidential sources however hinted that Atangana Mebara will have to respond two more charges of attempted embezzlement still within the framework of the “Albatros Affair.”
The first of the two concern an attempt to embezzle FCFA 4 billion  disbursed by the National Hydrocarbons Corporation, SNH, for payment of Cameroon Airlines’ bills to the aircraft leasing company, ANSETT. “In this charge, it is claimed that his co-accused is Chief Ephraim Inoni,” On September 18, 2009, the Examining Magistrate, on his own, found one other charge which was an effort to steal the sum of 5 million US Dollars.
So there is no judicial reason to keep Atangana Mebara in detention,” many have argued. Concerning the failure to obtain the order to set free Atangana Mebara on Friday May 4, the lead counsel regretted: “After the college of judges led by Gilbert Schlick issued the acquittal on Thursday and signed the acquittal order on Friday, the Presiding Judge’s registrar took the document to the Legal Department for execution. But the State Counsels disappeared from their offices and we were told late in the night that they will not return for the day,” sources hinted. However, Mebara’s lawyer has promised to use all legal means to obtain his client’s freedom within the ambit of the laws following the acquittal delivered by the Mfoundi High Court.
However, he hinted that it was not impossible for the two charges to be brought back to the fore by the Legal Department. “We have been summoned to the Examining Magistrate’s office on Tuesday May 8, 2012,” he disclosed, believing that something might be cooking for his client. “Another detention order might be issued tomorrow,” he said.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. Minute by Minute Report on Cameroon and Africa

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