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Congo's opposition leader Mokoko detained over coup allegations

Congo's opposition leader Mokoko detained over coup allegations

Republic of the Congo

Security services in the Republic of Congo have detained opposition leader General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko on Tuesday night over accusations of planning a coup d’etat in a video filmed in 2007.

“We have just been notified about his arrest at 18H 45 local time(17H 45 GMT). He is in custody at the DGST (security services),” Mokoko’s lawyer Eric Ibouanga told reporters.

Last week, Justice Minister Pierre Mabiala had requested a speed-up of judicial procedures in Mokoko’s case.

The General who came third during the March 20 presidential election with 14 percent has been detained for questioning at the country’s security services as investigations on allegations against him intensify.

According to witnesses, Mokoko was escorted to the security services by several police officers.

He had been grilled over the video before the presidential election and since then he has been under surveillance at his home in Brazzaville .

“For now the case is still at the preliminary investigation stage. We therefore reserve the right to retain some information,” Ibouanga added.

Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko was Congo’s military chief between 1987 and 1993.

He resigned from his position as special adviser to the president in February so as to challenge Denis Sassou Nguesso during the presidential election in March.

Denis Sassou Nguesso was reelected with over 60 percent of the vote.

The results were rejected by the opposition which accused the ruling party of “massive fraud.”

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