Ousted Mali president probed for treason

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IOL Amadou Toumani Toure

Associated Press

Mali's ousted president, Amadou Toumani Toure. File picture: Pankaj Nangia

Bamako -

Mali's government has launched an investigation into ousted president Amadou Toumani Toure for “high treason”, it said in a statement.

Toure, unseated by a military coup in March last year, is accused of having “facilitated the penetration and installation of foreign forces in the country, notably by not offering them any resistance”, said the statement released late Friday.

The statement accused Toure, who was in power for 10 years, of having “deliberately destroyed or damaged a tool for national defence” and having participated in “an attempt to demoralise the army”.

Toure was overthrown by a group of mid-level army officers who believed he had failed to provide support for their fight against armed Tuareg separatists, toppling what had been heralded as one of west Africa's most stable democracies.

The coup precipitated a crisis in which Al-Qaeda-linked groups seized control of the country's north, ruling with a brutal vision of Islamic law until a French-led military intervention forced them out.

In the months after the coup and a failed counter-coup in April 2012, junta leader Amadou Sanogo's then-headquarters in the central town of Kati were the scene of abuses and killings carried out against soldiers seen as loyal to Toure.

Sanogo was arrested on November 27 and charged along with 15

other people, mostly fellow soldiers from his inner circle, for alleged crimes during the coup and its aftermath.

The government says Sanogo has been charged with complicity in kidnappings, but a source close to the judge in the case told AFP the charges also include murder, complicity to murder and kidnappings. - Sapa-AFP


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