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The Journal Gazette

Monday, April 22, 2013 1:15 pm

US bid to seize jet from African official denied

By FREDERIC J. FROMMERAssociated Press

A federal judge has denied an attempt by the Justice Department to seize a $38.5 million Gulfstream jet from the son of Equatorial Guinea's president.

The Justice Department had alleged that Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue (MAN-gay) bought the jet with money derived from extortion, misappropriation, theft and embezzlement. But U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled Friday that the government did not link the jet to any specific illicit acts, and dismissed the civil forfeiture complaint.

Nguema, an Equatorial Guinea government minister, is the son of that nation's president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, who has frequently been accused of human rights abuses and corruption.