Kpatcha Gnassingbe (photo), a half-brother of Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, accused of masterminding an alleged coup plot in 2009, denied the charges against him claiming he was set up.
"I don't recognise the facts. This coup plot case is a set-up, pure and simple," Kpatcha Gnassingbe, the 41-year-old former defence minister, said on Wednesday.
He was testifying in the case for the first time since his arrest more than two years ago while trying to take refuge at the US embassy for being behind the plot against his half-brother.
Kpatcha said a Togolese source had informed him on March 30, 2009 that some officers, among them, the current army chief of staff Atcha Titikpina, were preparing an uprising.
"I immediately informed my brother Faure," he said.
A few days later, he said the source told him "'it's ready, let's carry out the act".
"I did not understand anything (...) my home is attacked. I finally realised that I was trapped by some officers," he said.
A second half-brother to the president, Essolizam Gnassingbe, has also pleaded innocent. Three of the president's cousins are also accused of involvement in the plot in which a total of 32 people face trial.
The suspects are accused of attempted violation of state security, criminal conspiracy and rebellion, among others, and face up to life in prison.