December 7, 2021

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Mali ex-intelligence chief charged for attempted coup

Colonel Kassoum Goita

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By AFP

Mali’s former head of domestic intelligence has been charged on suspicion of attempting a coup, and others are also being investigated, legal sources in the troubled Sahel state said Friday.

The public prosecutor’s office in the capital Bamako said it had opened an investigation into Colonel Kassoum Goita, the country’s ex-head of internal security.

Five other men including a police commissioner are also being probed on suspicion of criminal association, attempted murder and “conspiracy against the government,” the statement added.

A legal source, who declined to be named, told AFP that all six had been arrested on suspicion they were planning a coup.

Col. Goita is one of the army officers who overthrew elected president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in an August 2020 military putsch, led by Colonel Assimi Goita.

Under diplomatic pressure, the army subsequently handed power to a civilian-led interim government tasked with steering Mali back towards civilian rule.

Kassoum Goita became the head domestic intelligence under this government.

However he was dismissed after Assimi Goita overthrew the leaders of the interim government in May, in a second putsch, and was declared interim president himself.

The two men share the family name of Goita but it was not immediately known if they are related.

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