The Monitor (Kampala)

5 August 2011

Guinea: 16 Charged With Assassination Attempt On Leader

Guinea — A magistrate's court in the Guinean capital has indicted 16 persons for the attempted assassination of President Alpha Condé at his private residence on 19 July this year. Most of those indicted on Monday are close associates of Gen. Sekouba Konaté, the last military junta leader who ceded power to President Condé following a highly controversial election last year.

Prominent among those indicted are Gen. Nouhou Thiam, the former Army Chief of Staff of Guinea. Prior to his elevation to the post of General, he headed another controversial ad hoc and anti-riot contingent that was set to maintain law and order during the campaign and election period last year.

Confrontations between the ad hoc and anti-riot contingent culminated in severe injuries of scores of civilians and left over a dozen dead. Others also indicted include Col. Sidiki Camara, nicknamed "De Gaulle" who was also the aide de camp to former junta leader Konaté.

Besides the two, five other colonels were among those indicted and are being held in custody while awaiting trail soon, the magistrate court officials said in a broadcast statement on Tuesday evening. The sources said the men were also indicted for "abetting criminals, disrupting state security, assassination of people including a presidential guard and attempted assassination of the head of state."

The men are also being charged with the illegal possession of weapons of war as well as the destruction of private property. About 38 persons were arrested and are being held in "preventive custody" in connection with the incident barely six months after President Condé won a controversial poll in December 2010.

The trial process of all the alleged coup plotters could go beyond five months, analysts said.

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