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Court in Madagascar convicts five people for plotting a coup

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MAMYRAEL/AFP or licensors -

Madagascar

A court in Madagascar convicted five people for plotting a coup in the Indian Ocean nation.

The defendants, including two French nationals, were part of a group of 20 people accused of trying to assassinate President Andry Rajoelina in July.

French-Madagascan national Paul Rafanoharana and his wife Voahangy Andrianandrianina, were convicted of additional charges for possession of illegal weapons.

The defense is not convinced and plans to appeal.

"If we agree, we will not go to court. If we go to the Supreme Court, it is because we do not agree. Because I tell you, I repeat, when did the Public Prosecutor's Office produce evidence to convict these people?", asked Willy Razafinjatovo, Paul Rafanoharana's lawyer.

Chan Fa, defending Philippe François added: 

"The verdict is quite unfair in relation to everything we have seen about the course of the proceedings, about what happened with the elements that were in the file. My client Philippe deserved to be acquitted", denounced the lawyer.

Prosecutor Arsene Rabe said the five people convicted Friday belonged to "a criminal organisation" seeking to "commit an attack against President Rajoelina".

The prosecutor announced the plot was uncovered "through emails, weapons and money seized" during various raids.

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