Congo Brazzaville is one of the poorest countries in the world, despite the fact that it produces nearly 300,000 barrels of oil a day.
Denis Sassou Nguesso, the country's president has been in power for all but five of the last 30 years, since a military coup in 1979.
He has long been suspected of siphoning off large portions of the country's oil revenues but suspicion only turned to proof when documents produced in court showed that oil belonging to the state had financed his son's spending sprees in Hong Kong, Paris and Barcelona, and on his own stays in luxury New York hotels.
Many of Congo Brazzaville's four million people are enraged that wealth from the country's precious natural resources has been spent on luxuries when most of the population lives on less than a dollar day.
As Andrew Weir and Christopher Walker report, the proof of the misuse of oil funds came from an unpopular source.