Guinea parliamentary majority rejects calls for Bollore inquiry

CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinea’s parliamentary majority rejected opposition calls for an inquiry into French billionaire Vincent Bollore on Wednesday, saying the investigation was a purely French matter.

“We haven’t received any such request and in any case we wouldn’t accept it,” Amadou Camara, the leader in parliament of President Alpha Conde’s ruling party, told Reuters.

Bollore is under formal investigation in France over allegations that his company Groupe Bollore undercharged for work on behalf of presidential candidates in Guinea and Togo in return for port contracts.

Bollore’s lawyer, Olivier Baratelli, and Groupe Bollore, have denied any wrongdoing.

“We’re talking about the indictment of a French citizen by French justice. It’s a French affair,” Camara, head of Conde’s Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party in parliament, said.

Opposition lawmakers called for an inquiry into Bollore’s Guinea dealings on May 2.

In an interview with Reuters two days later, President Conde said he would welcome it to “clarify things,” adding he would also file a complaint in Paris over “slanderous denunciation,” of his government’s conduct.

Bollore’s sprawling company has confirmed its African business interests were being investigated over the billing of work by its communications business Havas Worldwide in Guinea and Togo between 2009 and 2010.

The allegations in Guinea center on a concession to manage and expand the container terminal in the capital Conakry.

Bollore also owns a stake of about 20 percent in French media group Vivendi.

Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Potter