Cameroon: Supreme Court adjourns for the second time the appeal ruling on the Marafa-Fotso affair

Marafa Hamidou Yaya, the former Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, is currently hospitalised at the Yaounde General Hospital. The second appeal hearing in the trial of Marafa Hamidou Yaya, former Secretary General at the Presidency and ex-Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, and Yves Michel Fotso, business magnate and former General Manager of the defunct national carrier, Camair, held at the Supreme Court in Yaounde on April 5, 2016.

Alongside Sandjon Paho Genevieve Paul Gisele and Nkounda Julienne, the four were on September 12, 2012, convicted for embezzling about 21 Billion FCFA meant for the purchase of presidential aircraft, the Bbjet 2. Marafa and Fotso had received 25-year jail terms each while the other two accused got away with lesser sentences. Leading a seven-person panel of judges, Chief Justice Daniel Mekobe Sone adjourned the matter to May 3, 2016, after listening to the observations of the counsel for Marafa Hamidou Yaya, Barrister Patrice Monthé and the Advocate General, Ngatcha Esaie. 

Barrister Monthé said his client was on admission at the Yaounde General Hospital at Ngoussou, pleading that any adjournment should be much longer because some of his medical tests might have to be taken abroad. Advocate General Ngatcha concurred by saying that he was also informed of Marafa’s health situation, pleading with the court to take this into consideration. Meanwhile, of all the four appellants, only Nkounda Julienne was present in court. Yves Michel Fotso, who was said to be unwell during the last hearing on March 22, 2016, was inexplicably absent; neither were any of his five lawyers present.

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