Guinea releases former minister accused of corruption


Guinea has released a former mines minister jailed last year on embezzlement charges, a senior police source told Reuters yesterday.
“Four people, including (former mines minister) Ahmed Kante, have had their charges dismissed by a judge. They are free,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

Kante, mines minister under former president Lansana Conte in the world’s top bauxite producer, had been detained in March 2009 by the then-ruling military junta which accused him of stealing some $430 000.

Kante denied the charges.

Guinea is deeply impoverished despite its reserves of bauxite, gold and iron ore, and critics of previous regimes have accused senior officials of using mineral resources for private gain, depriving the treasury of much-needed income.

The junta’s leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, who came to power in a bloodless coup in December 2008 after Conte’s death, was wounded in an assassination attempt late last year and evacuated for medical care.

His deputy has since formed a transitional government in the West African nation charged with setting elections.

Pic: Junta leader- Capt Moussa Dadis Camara