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  • 19 JUNHO 2024
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Madagascar. Three years in prison for former chief of staff of the president

The former chief of staff to Madagascar's president, Andry Rajoelina, was today jailed for three and a half years by a British court for corruption after she demanded bribes from a mining company.

Madagascar. Three years in prison for former chief of staff of the president
Notícias ao Minuto

18:44 - 10/05/24 por Lusa

Mundo Madagáscar

London, May 10, 2024 (Lusa) - The former chief of staff to the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, was today sentenced by the British courts to three and a half years in prison for corruption, after demanding bribes from a mining company.

Romy Andrianarisoa was arrested in London in August 2023, with a French national described as her "associate", Philippe Tabuteau, following an investigation by the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA).

She was convicted of bribery in February by a British court for demanding bribes in exchange for the granting of mining licences to British mining group Gemfields, which has owned Oriental Mining in Madagascar since 2008.

Last year, the NCA, having been tipped off by Gemfields, planted an undercover officer at the meetings, who recorded audio of the discussions.

Today, following the sentencing, the NCA released six recordings of Romy Andrianarisoa in which the chief of staff can be heard negotiating bribes and boasting about her influence over her "boss", President Rajoelina.

The British agency stated at the time that they were "suspected of attempting to solicit" sums in the region of €260,000 "and a 5% shareholding".

The judge explained today that it was impossible to determine the exact amount involved, but said that it would have been "substantial".

Romy Andrianarisoa, who had pleaded not guilty, played a "leading role" in the case and "abused" a position of "trust and responsibility", said Judge Christopher Butcher when passing sentence.

The French national, Philippe Tabuteau, was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Madagascar is ranked 142nd out of 180 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.

Read Also: Madagascar demands the withdrawal of the European Union ambassador (Portuguese version)

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