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Friday, June 14, 2024

Guinea ex-PM Ibrahima Fofana, three ex ministers, detained for alleged embezzlement


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Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, Prime Minister of Guinea until the military coup of 2021, and three former ministers of deposed President Alpha Conde were charged Wednesday with “embezzlement” of alleged public funds and jailed in Conakry, one of their lawyers told AFP.

“They have been charged with embezzlement of public funds and sent to prison,” said Salifou Béavogui, head of a group of lawyers. In addition to Mr. Fofana, the former officials arrested are former Defense Minister Mohamed Diané, Environment Minister Oyé Guilavogui and Hydrocarbons Minister Zakaria Coulibaly.

They are to be tried on Monday, he said.

“We think they do not deserve to go to prison because until proven otherwise, they are presumed innocent. We are dealing with an expeditious and punitive procedure,” added Mr. Béavogui.

The four former officials were brought before the prosecutor’s office of the Court of Repression of Economic and Financial Offenses (Crief) on Wednesday, newly created by the junta that overthrew President Conde on September 5 after more than ten years in power.

They had previously been questioned for three days by investigators.

The exact charges against them were not specified.

Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, head of government from May 2018 until the September 2021 coup, had just been appointed on March 31 to head the former ruling party under Mr. Conde until a forthcoming congress.

Mr. Diané was a senior official under Mr. Conde.

The military, which took power by force, made the fight against endemic corruption one of its major proclaimed battles.

Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, head of the junta that took over as president, said there would be no “witch hunt” but that justice would be the country’s “compass.

Credit: Africanews