French court approves graft probe on African leaders

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A French court Tuesday authorised judges to investigate corruption charges against three African heads of state linked to properties bought by them in France.

The country's top appeals court ruled that investigating magistrates could open a probe into allegations against Congo-Brazzaville's President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, and Omar Bongo, the late president of Gabon who died last year.

The charges have been brought by Transparency International, an anti-corruption campaign group which alleges the leaders and their relatives used state funds from their countries to buy luxury homes and cars in France.

© 2010 AFP

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