Abacha retrial to go ahead

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Federal Tribunal has ordered a new trial for Abba Abacha, son of former Nigerian General Sani Abacha, who ruled the country for five years in the 1990s. He was suspected of stealing more than $2 billion and after his death his sons managed the money.

Abba Abacha was given a two-year suspended sentence in June 2010 by a Geneva court and his assets confiscated, under Switzerland’s programme covering stolen potentate funds. Nigeria had asked the Swiss government for judicial assistance in 1999 to recover the money.

The Swiss high court has ordered the new trial because Abacha was refused a visa and therefore could not attend the earlier trial in Geneva.