French tycoon placed under investigation

Reuters

French billionaire Vincent Bolloré has been placed under formal investigation by a French judge in a corruption probe.

A subsidiary of the Bolloré Group allegedly erroneous to work helping the two African presidents gain power in return for lucrative contracts.

In a release, the company said it would now have the opportunity to respond to these “unfounded accusations”.

Mr. Bolloré has been detained for questioning on Tuesday. He has been released.

The developments come days after he resigned from the post of chairman of media group Vivendi.

Investigators are looking into allegations that its Havas advertising agency – a subsidiary of the group provided by the refresh of the communications advice to Guinean President Alpha Condé and the Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé during elections in 2009 and 2010.

In return, the Bolloré Africa Logistics of the company would have been given licences to operate container ports of Conakry and Lome.

All parties deny the allegations.

In a statement quoted by the Reuters news agency, the Bolloré Group has said that Vincent Bolloré remains presumed innocent, will now be able to see a folder of evidence, and “will have the opportunity to respond to these unfounded accusations”.Other stories of Africa today

Two rival firms have taken the Bolloré Group to the court, on the port of the contracts.

The Bolloré Group said that its long experience of investing in Africa “and” recognized expertise” were already a sufficient motive for it to have got the permit.

Mr Bolloré’s business empire includes transportation, advertising, construction and media and has large interests in Africa. It is one of France’s best-known business men.

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After the election in Guinea, Mr. alpha Condé, has terminated the contract for the Conakry port existing of the operator and gave it to the Bolloré Group.

A spokesman for the government of Guinea said there was nothing wrong with the contract for delivery of the container terminal.