African News

G/Bissau: former PM to be questioned

Parliament in Guinea Bissau has been asked to question one time Prime Minister of the country, Aristides Gomes, over missing drugs that had been seized from drugs dealers, the AFP reported. Mr Gomez who fled Bissau after the killing of former President Joao Bernardo Vieira, a close ally of his, and has since been living in neighbouring Senegal, has expressed concern over his safety on return to the country. The exiled former PM served in that capacity from 2005-07. It was during this time that more than half a ton of seized cocaine reportedly went missing. The state prosecutor’s office made the disclosure on Wednesday, according to the AFP report. Also expected to be questioned are other key former political heavyweights, a former finance minister and a former junior interior minister. A total of 674 kilogrammes of cocaine went missing from the public treasury building in 2006. The country’s newly-appointed chief prosecutor, Michel Amine Saad, wrote to parliament to ask it to arrange for the three, all of them now members of the national assembly, to be questioned. The cocaine was said to have been seized in an outlying area of the capital Bissau in April 2006. According to report, it was transferred to the Public Treasury on grounds of security concern, from where it mysteriously disappeared. Gomes is reported to have said that he had already been interviewed by prosecutors over the disappearance of the drugs, expressing fears about his safety. “I fear that the file will be politicised, which is why I must be prudent. If I must go to Bissau, it must be under protection, to an embassy for example,” quoted the former PM. Involvement of high profile authorities remain the biggest obstacle to solving the problem of drugs in this war-torn country that is just about fixing its broken state apparatus.

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