Djerassem Le Bemadjiel
Chad’s former oil minister has been charged with stealing public money and ordered detained, the country’s justice minister told AFP Saturday.
Djerassem Le Bemadjiel was arrested on Wednesday after a complaint by a state body that reports directly to strongman Idriss Deby, who has been in power since 1990.
Chad is not a major oil producer in Africa but oil revenues account for 40 per cent of GDP and 60 per cent of the arid country’s revenues.
“He hasn’t yet been questioned yet. He has only been charged,” said justice minister, Djimet Arabi.
One of Le Bemadjiel’s lawyers confirmed that he was being held in custody and said they were preparing his defence.
The former minister, who held the oil and energy portfolio between 2013 and 2016, is accused of “misappropriation of public funds”, the “unlawful use of state property” and corruption, according to the complaint, which AFP was able to consult.
The document refers to irregularities, particularly, in the then minister’s dealings in 2013 and 2014 with auditing firms Alex Stewart International (ASi) and Cameroun Audit Conseil (CAC).[AFP]