Angolan opposition hails Elf jailings

14th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

LUANDA, Nov 13 (AFP) - The jailing of three top former officials of the French oil giant Elf was an important victory in the battle against corruption, an Angolan opposition leader said Thursday.

LUANDA, Nov 13 (AFP) - The jailing of three top former officials of the French oil giant Elf was an important victory in the battle against corruption, an Angolan opposition leader said Thursday.

The sentencing on Wednesday of the three, including a four-year prison term for Andre "Mr. Africa" Tarallo, "will encourage us to pursue our struggle against corruption," Paulino Pinto Joao said.
 
Tarallo, now 76, spearheaded the formerly state-owned Elf's expansion into Africa, becoming a fast friend of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, as well as Gabon's Omar Bongo.

Joao, who heads a coalition of opposition parties, said the decision would help set in motion a process to shed light on "a series of fuzzy procedures used by the Luanda regime, which has always made poor use of public funds and natural resources, especially oil."

In addition to Tarallo, who spent his first night behind bars overnight Wednesday, a Paris court sentenced former Elf director Loik Le Floch-Prigent and former general affairs director Alfred Sirven both to five years in prison.

The three senior Elf officials were found guilty of amassing small personal fortunes - to the tune of a total EUR 305 million (USD 350 million) - by skimming off the top of illicit slush funds run by the company.

© AFP


Subject: French news

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