The two Frenchmen arrested in Madagascar in an alleged coup plot, along with a Malagasy employee of the Central Bank, have been incarcerated in a high security prison.
After 15 days in police custody, Philippe F. and Paul R. were brought before a judge on Wednesday, who decided to detain them and charged them. "We don't know the reason for this decision," explained Philippe F.'s French lawyer, Etienne de Villepin.
A total of 21 people were presented to an investigating judge during a lengthy hearing on Wednesday at the Antananarivo courthouse, 11 of whom were incarcerated in the process, said the government's communications agency, Taratra.
No official judicial source has revealed the names of the accused or the charges against them. But Taratra, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Communication, published the names in abbreviated form or as initials, despite an appeal on Sunday by Attorney General Berthine Razafiarivony to respect the secrecy of the investigation and the presumption of innocence.
The judge "who is investigating the case is a person of integrity and independence," praised the lawyer of the Franco-Malagasy Paul R. and his wife in front of the courthouse, saying that his clients had been able to "answer questions in complete freedom.
Mr. Willy Razafinjatovo said that the couple was charged with undermining state security, conspiracy for physical elimination of the President of the Republic and criminal association.
We hope that the investigation will continue without pressure from outside the court," he added to the press, wishing that the trial in this case be televised.