Mobutu Villa in Savigny to be sold

Proceeds to be transferred into a blocked account

Press Release, FOJ, 23.03.2001

The Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) has unblocked Mobutu's property in Savigny, Canton of Vaud, and invited the Debt Collection and Bankruptcy Office of Lavaux to sell the villa and its furnishings. The proceeds, minus the accrued maintenance costs and statutory liens on taxes, will be transferred into a blocked account.

Mobutu's property in Savigny was blocked in May 1997 on the basis of a Congolese request for judicial assistance. The sale is intended to rule out any additional maintenance costs accruing to the FOJ, as well as a further depreciation of the villa, which has not been inhabited since. After deduction of the accrued maintenance costs of about CHF 66,000 and the statutory liens on taxes, the proceeds will be transferred into a blocked account.

Like the other assets of some CHF 6 million owned by Mobutu and others, which have been blocked in the course of the judicial assistance proceeding, these monies will thus remain blocked. However, for Switzerland to be able to continue these blocking measures, the requesting country will have to initiate and conclude a proceeding for the confiscation of these assets within a reasonable period of time. Switzerland has repeatedly drawn the Democratic Republic of Congo's attention to this, for the last time on 7 November 2000 on the occasion of the visit to Berne of a Congolese delegation.

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For the complete documentation see the pages in German, French or Italian

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