Kpatcha Gnassingbe humanely held : prosecutor

17/04/2009
Kpatcha Gnassingbe humanely held : prosecutor

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe's half-brother, arrested for plotting to overthrow the government, is being held under humane conditions, a prosecutor said Friday.

Kpatcha Gnassingbe was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly conspiring to oust his sibling.The arrest outside the US embassy in Lome, where he had sought asylum, followed raids on his house earlier in the week. It is not publicly known where he now is being held.

"We have taken all necessary measures to ensure his detention is acceptable, much more humane," prosecutor Robert Bakai tod AFP, responding to rumours that Kpatcha Gnassingbe was being ill-treated.

The former defence minister and lawmaker of the ruling Rally of the Togolese People "is a respectable citizen who has served the nation," he added.

Bakai on Wednesday said investigations have unearthed "serious and corroborating evidence" that the president's half-brother was the kingpin of a coup plot.

By way of evidence, police displayed to the news media an array of firearms, military fatigues, flak jackets and satellite phones as well as two all-terrain vehicles.

Several officials close to Kpatcha have been taken in and questioned in recent days, according to police sources.

Communication Minister Oulegoh Keyewa on Thursday condemned the plot as he thanked unnamed "friendly nations" that helped "thwart the destabilisation attempt".

Elected to parliament in October 2007, Kpatcha Gnassingbe is a ruling party heavyweight, but a rift has developed between him and the president since the death of their father Gnassingbe Eyadema in 2005.

 

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