Gabonese president Bongo dies at 73

June 8th, 2009 - 6:06 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 8 (DPA) Gabon’s President Omar Bongo died Sunday of cancer at the age of 73, French weekly Le Point reported, quoting a French government source.
Africa’s longest serving head of state suspended his powers on May 6, ostensibly to mourn the death of his second wife Edith Lucie, who passed away in Rabat, Morocco, on March 14 after a long ailment.

He then checked into a clinic in Barcelona, Spain. “He is doing very badly”, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said late May.

Bongo was president of Gabon, the former French colony in West Africa, for 41 years.

His death came as French authorities probed whether he had used hundreds of millions of dollars of Gabonese public funds to buy lavish properties in France. Bongo’s family apparently owns 39 luxury properties in France.

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