Envoys of three countries face ‘meddling’ accusations

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PARIS: France, Spain and the United States are facing a political storm in Equatorial Guinea over accusations their ambassadors tried to interfere to prevent the arrest of a former supreme court president.

Equatorial Guinea this week accused the US, French and Spanish ambassadors of obstructing investigators who arrived at the home of former justice Juan Carlos Ondo Angue, who is accused in a 2017 coup plot.

The foreign ministry accused the three envoys of meddling in the country’s internal affairs when they arrived at Angue’s home on Monday as gendarme officers were about to arrest him.

“Their presence prevented the work of the gendarmes,” the country’s prosecutor general Anatolio Nsang Nguema told state television.

France and Spain on Friday rejected the accusations.

“It was never the intention of the French ambassador to prevent legal action,” the French foreign ministry said.

The envoy had kept the Equatorial Guinea government informed of his presence at Angue’s home, the ministry said.

Spain’s foreign ministry told AFP that the Spanish, French and US ambassadors were invited to Angue’s home at his request.

There was no immediate public statement from the US government on the accusations.

Angue was dismissed from his post in August 2018 and has been accused of being involved in a coup plot that the Malabo government claims to have foiled in 2017.

Equatorial Guinea has been ruled for four decades by President Teodoro Obiang who is regularly accused of human rights abuses by his opponents and international rights groups.

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