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Court rules Abacha son guilty

A Geneva court has sentenced the son of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha to a two-year suspended sentence for belonging to a criminal organisation.

This content was published on June 18, 2010 - 12:59

Abba Abacha had been appealing against a 2009 guilty verdict on those charges as well as the court seizure of over $400 million in assets linked to his father, who died in 1998.

The Geneva Police Court had decided last month that the hearing could go ahead without Abacha and some of the witnesses who decided not to attend.

Abacha, 41, was accused of plundering his country’s accounts while his father was in power in the 1990s.

The court said that he had been part of the family structure set up by his father to pillage Nigerian resources.

According to the lawyer representing Nigeria, Abacha stashed over $400 million in the Bahamas and Luxembourg – assets that will now be confiscated following the court’s decision.

The Nigerian government is expected to ask for the funds to be handed over.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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