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The AN judges the arms company DEFEX and its former commercial director for alleged irregular contracts in Cameroon

The Prosecutor's Office asks for up to 23 years, among other things because a cosmetic operation will be paid to the wife of a military man.

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The AN judges the arms company DEFEX and its former commercial director for alleged irregular contracts in Cameroon

The Prosecutor's Office asks for up to 23 years, among other things because a cosmetic operation will be paid to the wife of a military man

MADRID, 30 Oct. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The National Court (AN) sits the semi-public company DEFEX and its former commercial director Manuel Iglesias on the bench since Wednesday for the alleged contracting and invoicing carried out to obtain public contracts irregularly in Cameroon through the payment of illicit commissions of some 15 million euros to authorities and officials of the African country.

For these alleged facts, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office requests that the former commercial director of DEFEX and two other defendants be sentenced to between 18 and 23 years in prison, the president of the commercial Grupo Aresa Internacional, Óscar López, and the commercial director of Deimos Space SLU, Francisco Luque.

The arms sales company will also sit on the bench, as a legal entity, in addition to Aresa Marine SL and Deimos Space SLU, subcontractors for which millionaire amounts are also claimed for their alleged responsibility in this matter.

They will be tried for alleged crimes of corruption in international business transactions, embezzlement of public funds, money laundering and document falsification in this piece of the so-called 'Defex case', which is pending other trials for corrupt practices in Angola or Saudi Arabia .

In its brief of provisional conclusions, collected by Europa Press, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office requests the longest sentence, 23 years in prison, for Iglesias, who is being asked for fines of up to 86 million euros and another 12 million as compensation to the Society State of Industrial Holdings (SEPI).

Similarly, Anticorruption is asking for 18 years for Francisco Luque and Óscar López, who also face million-dollar fines.

It was in January 2019 when the then judge of the National High Court José de la Mata proposed to try the arms sales company and the aforementioned defendants. The facts investigated focus on contracts for spare parts for vehicles, surveillance systems, anti-riot material and weapons for patrol boats.

As in other chapters of the 'Defex case', the payment of commissions, gifts and gifts to intermediaries and officials of the country would have been implemented to ensure the award of contracts. This in a context in which the company lacked "any internal system of organization, supervision and control of the actions of its directors that entailed a commitment of income or economic expenditure for the public company," according to the Public Prosecutor's Office.

Here it is about the contracts signed in Cameroon between 2005 and 2013, when the DEFEX commercial agent Philippe Bourcier, with the "main and decisive" participation of Manuel Iglesias as commercial director, acted as an intermediary to pay the alleged bribes through seven 'ghost' companies with accounts in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the African republic in order to win the contracts.

According to Anti-Corruption, Bourcier, a fugitive from Justice, thus moved the money both to his own pocket and to authorities and officials from Cameroon and other countries such as Senegal, Gabon and Algeria, and hid it through contracts for the provision of services and representation between DEFEX and its holding companies.

The letter highlights the "decisive" role that Rear Admiral Pierre Njine Djonkam had in obtaining and executing public contracts with the Cameroon authorities, "recipient of gifts, trips, hotel stays and cosmetic surgery expenses" for his wife that Iglesias would define in an email as "retreaded", all at the expense of the semi-public company.

One of the contracts, which was for a coastal surveillance service for 99.3 million euros, would have been approved in an agreement between Iglesias and the Minister of the Presidency and responsible for the defense of Cameroon, Alain Mebe Ngo'o, with the mediation of the aforementioned rear admiral, who is the one who would have negotiated the fine print. Only in one of the sections of the project, Iglesias would have agreed with Bourcier commissions of more than five million.

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