Six people, including a former prime minister, accused of seeking to organize a coup, according to their lawyers.
Malian authorities have accused six prominent figures, including a former prime minister, of seeking to stage a coup in August last year, their lawyers said.
The prosecutor’s office in the capital Bamako said Thursday in a statement that six people were under investigation for “conspiracy against the government, criminal association, insulting the head of state and complicity”.
A group of lawyers defending the six said the individuals, including Boubou Cissé, the last prime minister before the August move, had been charged with “attempted coup”.
“All of those charged are civilian figures with no established connection to anyone in the military,” they said.
Five of the six were taken into police custody, with the exception of Cissé, whose whereabouts are not known, the prosecution said.
In addition to Cissé, those charged include his half-brother Aguibou Tall, who runs a telecommunications-related agency, and Mohamed Youssouf Bathily, an activist and radio host popular among young Malians and whose stage name is Ras Bath.
The others are Vital Robert Diop, director of Mali Mutuel Urbain (PMI), an agency in charge of games of chance in horse racing, and two senior financial officials, Mamadou Kone and Souleymane Kansaye.
Another person who was arrested earlier, but later released, is the secretary of the president’s office, Sekou Traoré, who holds the ranks of magistrate and minister.
His case was referred to the attorney general in the Supreme Court, the prosecutor said. Cissé denied on December 23 that he was involved in an alleged plot.
The allegations came during a period of turmoil in the African country following the impeachment of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita by army officers on August 18.
Threatened by international sanctions, the military rulers have handed power to an interim institution that is supposed to last up to 18 months until elections are held.
But disenchantment with the slow pace of reform is growing, compounded by accusations that military-related figures dominate the transitional government.
In its statement, the prosecution did not use the term “attempted coup” as the lawyers did.
He alleged that there had been acts which “undermined internal security” and serious evidence of a “criminal enterprise” and “sabotage actions” taken by the transitional authorities.
On Monday, security sources said a number of people were arrested on December 21, while the prosecutor’s office said a “preliminary investigation” had been completed. open “Relating to Violations of State Security”.
In the run-up to their arrest, social media posts said there had been a plan to “destabilize” Mali’s post-coup transitional institutions.
Mali, an impoverished landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, is notoriously unstable. The August 18 coup was the fourth since the country gained independence from France in 1960.
It came after weeks of escalating protests against Keita, who had become unpopular due to perceived corruption and his failure to reverse an armed rebellion that has claimed thousands of lives since 2012 and forced hundreds of people to flee their homes.