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Guinea's two former ministers rejected for release

Guinea's two former ministers rejected for release
FILE - The leader of the opposition party Ibrahima Kassory Fofana GTP...   -  
Copyright © africanews
CELLOU BINANI/AFP -

Justice

A special anti-corruption court on Tuesday decided to keep in detention two former ministers of deposed Guinean President Alpha Conde, imprisoned for alleged embezzlement of public funds, their lawyers said.

The Court of Repression of Economic and Financial Offences (CRIEF) set up by the junta that overthrew Alpha Conde in September 2021 rejected the request for the release of Ibrahima Kassory Fofana, Prime Minister from May 2018 until the 2021 coup, and former Environment Minister Oye Guilavogui.

Pending their trial, the two men were placed under arrest in early April for corruption, misappropriation of public funds, illicit enrichment and money laundering.

"We are disappointed, outraged (by) this relentlessness against our clients," Sidiki Berete, one of the defence lawyers, told AFP.

On 19 May, Ibrahima Kassory Fofana and Oye Guilavogui were briefly released from prison by decision of the CRIEF before returning the same evening following an appeal by the prosecutor.

The junta led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who has since been inaugurated as president, has proclaimed the fight against corruption, which is reputed to be endemic in the country, as one of its major battles.

A series of investigations have been opened against personalities from the former regime and even from the opposition to former President Condé.

The judiciary announced in early May proceedings against Mr Condé and some thirty former senior officials under his presidency, for assassinations, acts of torture or abductions.

Political parties are increasingly crying out that the judiciary and the CRIEF are being manipulated.

ECOWAS warned on 25 March that if an "acceptable" timetable was not presented by 25 April, "economic and financial sanctions would immediately come into force". Neighbouring Mali, the scene of two putsches since 2020, has been under such sanctions since January.