Swiss court orders retrial of Nigerian dictator's son

20th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Switzerland's highest court on Tuesday ordered a retrial of Abba Abacha, the son of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, who was charged by Geneva authorities for taking part in a criminal organisation.

He was sentenced to a suspended jail term of two years and his assets confiscated in the initial court hearing.

But he won an appeal at the Swiss Federal Tribunal which ordered that the sentence be annulled and a retrial held due to procedural irregularities and the fact that the accused had been unable to attend the trial because he was unable to obtain a visa in time.

In June 2010, Geneva police's court found Abacha guilty of participating in his family's pillage of his country's assets.

His father, Sani, took over power in Nigeria in 1993.

Until his death in 1998, he siphoned off up to $2.2 billion from the country's central bank.

After his death, Abba and his brother Mohammed controlled a majority of these funds.

Nigeria sent Switzerland a request in 1999 asking Bern to help it recover the funds hidden in Swiss banks.

© 2011 AFP

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