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Justice: Eugene suit seeks $10 million in alleged Cameroon torture case

English: A Cameroon Airlines Boeing 757-23A at...

English: A Cameroon Airlines Boeing 757-23A at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG/LFPG) Español: Un Boeing 757-23A de Cameroon Airlines en el Aeropuerto Charles de Gaulle (CDG/LFPG) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Register Guard - It’s not clear if Yves Michel Fotso has ever even been to Eugene [Oregon].

But that hasn’t stopped the jailed citizen of Cameroon from filing a $10 million federal lawsuit here, accusing his government of false imprisonment and torture.

Fotso, the former general manager of Cameroon Airlines, is being tried in a Cameroon criminal court for allegedly conspiring with others to embezzle $31 million the African nation paid a defunct Medford company in 2001 to broker its acquisition of three jets.

Fotso’s Eugene attorney, Kelly Beckley, declined comment on the civil lawsuit, saying he doesn’t want to jeapordize his client’s fate there.

But the Medford company’s 2004 bankruptcy proceeding took place at the Eugene federal courthouse and underlies Fotso’s false imprisonment claim.

His lawsuit notes that Cameroon was among parties who received partial payment of their claims against the company, GIA International, Ltd., in an August 2006 settlement of the bankruptcy case.

In exchange for its $858,163 payment, Cameroon signed a release of liability to other parties in the case — including Carmeroon Airlines. That release prohibited the country, located south of Nigeria, from making an claim or initiating any action “in any manner” again Cameroon Airlines or its agents and employees, including Fotso, his U.S. complaint alleges.

It charges that Cameroon “breached its duty” under the release agreement when it initiated criminal actions against Fotso in December of 2010.

Karen MCCowan | August 21 2012 | TRG

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