Guinea: Junta gives order to prosecute ex-president Alpha Condé

By AFP
Posted on Thursday, 3 November 2022 17:29

Alpha Condé in January 2020 in Britain. © Henry Nicholls/REUTERS

Guinea's ruling junta on Thursday ordered prosecutors to take legal action against former president Alpha Conde (who was overthrown in a 2021 coup) and over 180 other officials and ex-ministers, notably for alleged corruption.

The military, which seized power on 5 September 2021, has made the fight against corruption – reputed to be endemic in the West African nation – one of its key battles.

The announcement, which was made by the justice minister to public prosecutors in a letter, marks a new stage, targeting Condé by name – as well as many of his senior officials and former ministers. They include ex-prime minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana; the former ministers of defence, economy and trade; as well as a number of presidential advisers from the Conde regime.

The letter orders prosecutors to pursue the listed suspects for alleged acts of “corruption, illicit enrichment, money laundering, forgery and use of forgeries in public writing, embezzlement of public funds and complicity”. The list includes 188 names in total, though some are mentioned more than once. The bank accounts of these individuals have been frozen, the letter says.
“The Guinean government, in its policy of raising the moral standards of public life, has set itself the objective of fighting against economic and financial infractions,” Justice Minister Alphonse Charles Wright says in the letter. “It is imperative to open judicial investigations to clarify the origin of the funds in these various accounts.”

Campaign against graft

This is not the first time that proceedings have been brought against the 84-year-old former president.

He was indicted in May for alleged acts of murder, torture, kidnapping and rape, in a country where the repression of political demonstrations is often brutal.

Several former officials have been detained as part of the junta’s anti-corruption campaign, including some cited in the letter.

There will be no witch-hunt under [Colonel Mamady Doumbouya’s] rule, but justice will serve as a compass.

The poor but mineral-rich West African state has been under military government since the coup that ousted Conde, who had been in power for more than 10 years.

Military leader Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has since appointed himself president and promised to restore civilian rule within two years from January 2023. He has previously said there will be no “witch-hunts” under his rule, but that justice will serve as a “compass”.

Meanwhile, a trial is underway for the former dictator Moussa Dadis Camara and a dozen former military and government officials accused over the 28 September 2009 stadium massacre.

On that date, and in the following days, 156 people were killed and at least 109 women were raped, according to a UN-mandated report.

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