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Former Sierra Leone president charged with treason amid post-election tensions

Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone addresses the delegates at the Sierra Leone Trade & Investment Forum in London, Wednesday, Nov.18, 2009.   -  
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Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's former President, Ernest Bai Koroma, has been charged with four offenses, including treason, for his alleged involvement in a failed military attempt to overthrow the government in November.

The charges come amid heightened tensions following the attempted coup and a disputed June 2023 election, where President Julius Maada Bio secured a second term. 

The election's outcome faced rejection by the main opposition candidate and skepticism from international partners. 

In November, gunmen attacked military barracks and a prison, leading to over 2,200 inmates' release and more than 20 deaths. The government attributed the incident to a foiled coup, mainly involving Koroma's bodyguards. 

The ex-president, charged with treason, misprision of treason, and harboring, condemned the attacks. His lawyer called the charges a "political vendetta." Koroma was granted bail, and the case is adjourned until January 17. Twelve others, including a member of Koroma's security detail, were also charged with treason in connection with the coup attempt.

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