17, June 2016
General Jean- Marie Michel Mokoko, one of the opposition candidates in the March 20, 2016 presidential election in Congo is languishing in police custody in the capital, Brazzaville since June 14, 2016, Reuters reported, citing an announcement from his party.
The former army chief of staff from 1987 to 1993 is being investigated on allegations shown in a video screened in 2007 indicating that he was discussing plans to oust President Denis Sassou Nguesso from power. He had been President Sassou Nguesso’s special adviser on security matters. Reuters reported yesterday that the government had not yet commented on the arrest and detention of General Mokoko in the Police cell.
However, events leading up to the arrest indicate government’s intention to have the judicial proceedings against him accelerated. RFI cited Justice Minister Pierre Mabiala of asking the State Counsel to hasten the proceedings. General Mokoko’s lawyer, Yvan Eric Ibouanga, RFI reported, also confirmed the arrest and detention. He however, did not want to further comment on a judicial file that is still at the preliminary investigation phase.
General Mokoko after the accusations of attempted coup d’Etat in 2007, left Congo and only returned early this year to contest in the race for the presidency. Since the March 2016 presidential election, he had been living under tight security surveillance.