Sylvia Bongo, the wife of Ali Bongo Ondimba, who was overthrown in a coup on August 30th, is no longer under house arrest. The 60-year-old Franco-Gabonese national, facing allegations of economic crimes, was incarcerated overnight.

Sylvia Bongo, who is under suspicion of embezzling public funds, was incarcerated, according to her lawyer François Zimeray, who strongly criticized what he described as an “arbitrary and illegal procedure.”

According to local media reports, the decision to transfer her to the Central Prison in Libreville was made by the investigating judge. This move reunites her with her son, Nourreddin Bongo Valentin, and her husband’s former chief, Brice Laccruche Alihanga, who has been in detention since the August 30th coup.

The wife of the former president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, had been charged on September 28 with offenses, including money laundering, forgery, and falsification of records.

Since the coup that ended 55 years of Bongo dynasty rule, Sylvia Bongo had been under house arrest in the capital, Libreville. The coup leaders claim that the former head of state and his inner circle manipulated election results. They accuse Sylvia Bongo and her son, Nourreddin Bongo Valentin, of exploiting the former president, who has not fully recovered from a severe stroke in 2018.

French lawyers have raised concerns over what they perceive as the ‘arbitrary’ detention of Bongo’s wife in Gabon. They argue that Sylvia and her son effectively governed the central African country for the past five years and misappropriated public funds.

As of now, the public prosecutor in Libreville has not responded to AfrikPage’s request for comment.

Ali Bongo, who had been in power in the oil-rich country since 2009, was deposed by military leaders shortly after being declared the winner in a presidential election.”