Congo ex-presidential candidate Mokoko charged
17 June 2016, 13:11
Brazzaville – General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, who ran
unsuccessfully against Congo's President Denis Sassou Nguesso, has been charged
with breaching state security, his lawyer said on Thursday.
Mokoko was in custody in Brazzaville after being charged with
"breaching internal state security and the illegal detention of weapons of
war and munitions", Yvon Eric Ibouanga told AFP.
The general, who was military chief of the oil-rich African nation
from 1987 to 1993, won less than 14% in a March election which returned Sassou
Nguesso to the presidency with more than 60% of the vote.
He was detained on Tuesday by security services for questioning
and was seen by several witnesses arriving handcuffed at the prosecutor's
office on Thursday.
He had quit as a peace and security advisor to Sassou Nguesso in
February in order to challenge the strongman's 32-year grip on power, and has
been living under surveillance at his home in central Brazzaville since the
"The arrest of general Mokoko is a troubling and very
embarrassing matter", said Clement Mierassa, president of the opposition
Social Democrats party (PSDC).
Mokoko "has been harassed since ran a good campaign and did
well at the polls during the last presidential election," Mierassa added.
Mokoko has been accused of discussing plans to remove Sassou
Nguesso from power with a man presenting himself as a French intelligence agent
in a video filmed in 2007.
He told AFP in March that he had been "trapped" but had
resolved the video charges "inside the family" with the head of state
and was therefore surprised it had come up again.