Guinea Drug Charge For Conte Son
A Guinean court has charged a second son of the late President Lansana Conte with drug trafficking. Moussa Conte and his three alleged associates deny importing machines for the manufacture of narcotics, saying they were for processing bio-fuels.
The military junta, which seized power after Mr Conte’s death in December, has promised to stop gangs using Guinea as a hub for smuggling drugs into Europe. The junta is under pressure after some 157 protesters were killed recently.
Correspondents say Guineans at first hailed the junta’s efforts to clamp down on the drugs trade – for example military leader Capt Moussa Dadis Camara quizzed members of an alleged trafficking ring live on television.
But many see the latest move as an effort by the regime to distract attention from the stadium massacre on 28 September when troops opened fire on opposition protesters. Five police officers, who held senior positions under Mr Conte, were also charged with drugs offences.
udicial sources told the BBC the former policemen were formally charged in the absence of their lawyers, who boycotted the proceedings citing interference by the military authorities. Moussa Conte’s elder brother Ousmane Conte – a former captain in the Guinean army – was one of the first people arrested and detained by the junta on allegations that he was behind the flourishing drugs trade.
He remains in detention nearly nine months after his arrest, without being charged. Earlier this week, Guinea’s military rulers presented proposals for a transitional government, following the widespread condemnation of the September killings.
They suggested Capt Camara remain as president, but with a consensus candidate as prime minister. But the opposition are demanding that Capt Camara stand down.