A lawyer for the free-spending son of Equatorial Guinea's longtime leader today called for a new postponement of his high-profile Paris trial for corruption.
As Teodorin Obiang's trial resumed after a six-month pause, his lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny requested a fresh delay pending the outcome of an appeal to the International Court of Justice to scrap the proceedings.
The tiny oil- and timber-rich west African nation questions France's right to put the president's son and current vice-president on trial, saying it violates his diplomatic immunity.
The 47-year-old, known for his taste for supercars, luxury homes and bespoke suits, is charged with plundering Equatorial Guinea's coffers to fund his jetset lifestyle in France.
He is suspected of using more than 100 million euros (USD 112 million) of state money -- proceeds of corruption and embezzlement, prosecutors allege -- to buy a six-storey mansion on Avenue Foch, one of the swankiest streets in Paris, as well as a collection of Italian supercars.
Obiang, who once again did not appear in court, denies the charges, saying the money came from legitimate sources.
When hearings began six months ago, the trial was postponed to give the defence more time to prepare its case.