11 Apr

Namibian President Geingob Rejects Graft Claims in French Probe

Namibian President Hage Geingob rejected claims linking him to a French corruption probe related to the purchase by Orano SA of Canadian mining company UraMin Inc.’s Trekkopje uranium mine in the southern African country.

Geingob didn’t participated in the transaction and is demanding a retraction from Radio France Internationale, which reported the allegations last week, spokesman Alfredo Hengari said in a statement.

He was paid as a consultant before he joined the cabinet and for work unrelated to the purchase by Orano, formerly called Areva, of UraMin’s assets in 2007, according to the presidency.

RFI reported that Geingob was linked to the probe in which Areva’s former mining branch head, Sebastien de Montessus, was charged in relation to the French nuclear energy giant’s purchase of the UraMin-owned mine in Namibia.

Anne Lauvergeon, Areva’s former chief executive officer, has been charged with spreading false information related to the purchase of UraMin. The former executives deny wrongdoing.

The RFI report “focuses on the alleged involvement of Mr De Montessus in the allegations referred to, yet the report on its own and in context makes gratuitous insinuations and imputations of dishonesty on the person of Dr Geingob,” the president’s lawyers said in a letter to the radio station, seen by Bloomberg.

The lawyers said there is no connection between the alleged overpricing of the Areva-UraMin transaction and the services Geingob provided by HG Consultancy to UraMin.

RFI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the demand for a retraction when contacted by Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-10/namibian-president-geingob-rejects-graft-claims-in-french-probe 

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