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Disappearance of Jean-Pierre Marongiu, former French detainee in Qatar

14 June 2023 News   8231  

The former French detainee in Qatar, Jean-Pierre Marongiu, died on June 13 in Nancy. This engineer had set up a management training company in Qatar. In 2013, he was not only robbed by his Qatari “associate”, but sentenced to seven years in prison. Jean-Pierre Marongiu was not released until 2018. Since then, he has published several books on his imprisonment.

By Ian Hamel

Born in Tunisia and a graduate of the arts and crafts school in Aix-en-Provence, Jean-Pierre Marongiu travelled to many continents before settling in Qatar in 2006. Although he was the sole investor, under the Kafala system (a system of guardianship) he had to form a partnership with a Qatari who held 51% of the shares, to set up his company. For six years, Pro & Sys prospered. But in 2012, the Qatari partner asked him to sell his shares free of charge. When Jean-Pierre Marongiu, who estimated his assets at €4 million, resisted, his partner emptied the company’s accounts. The French entrepreneur was prosecuted in Qatar for writing bad cheques. He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

In 2008, Jean-Pierre Marongiu was elected chairman of the Union des Français à l’étranger  (Union of French people abroad ), but the French embassy in Doha not only failed to come to his rescue, but continued to tarnish his image. The author of this article witnessed this first-hand in 2017. It took numerous articles in the French press before the entrepreneur was finally pardoned by the Emir of Qatar in July 2018 and allowed to return to France. Jean-Pierre Marongiu had returned to his job as an engineer. Until a few weeks ago, he was working in Gabon, before illness caught up with him.

He was also a lecturer and writer, and had published several works about his imprisonment for Nouveaux Auteurs editions, including “Qaptif ! Un Français, otage du Qatar”, “InQarcéré”, “Aussi noire que soit ma nuit, je reviendrai vers toi”.

Complaint against the former Qatar prosecutor

Jean-Pierre Marongiu filed a complaint on 6 December 2021 with the office of the senior examining magistrate at the Paris Court of First Instance. He accused Ali Bin Fetais Al-Marri, then Attorney General of Qatar, of having refused “to allow him to be defended and refused to investigate those responsible for the deficit in the company’s bank accounts”. The engineer remained in detention for almost 5 years, “without ever having been brought before any judicial body and without knowing how long he would remain locked up”.

   On the other hand, the French consular authorities considered that Jean-Pierre Marongiu “was being held ‘legally’ and in perfectly suitable conditions, and that they were therefore unable to take any action”.