The investigation puts additional legal pressure on Alpha Condé, already facing allegations of corruption, assassination and torture.
The Guinean Minister of Justice, Alphonse Charles Wright, announced the opening of an investigation for treason against former President Alpha Condé, two years after his ouster from power by a military coup.
Condé, Guinea’s first democratically elected leader, was removed from office in September 2021 by an elite army unit led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya. The coup came after he sought to extend his ten-year term with a third term and violently suppressed protests against the electoral bid.
Guinea’s military leaders have since launched a litany of legal investigations against Condé, including allegations of corruption, assassination, torture, kidnapping and rape.
The latest investigation, ordered Monday, will focus on “alleged acts of treason, criminal conspiracy and complicity in the illicit possession of arms and ammunition,” according to a letter from Wright to the prosecutor in Conakry, the Guinean capital.
The letter alleges Condé, who now lives in exile in Türkiye, had acquired weapons and ammunition, without providing details.
Guinea is one of several West and Central African states to have suffered a coup in recent years. Gabon, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have all experienced at least one coup each since 2020.
Guinea’s military leaders have pledged to restore civilian rule to the country by 2026.
Another ex-president indicted
Earlier this month, tragedy unfolded for another embattled former Guinean president, Moussa Dadis Camara, when he was briefly released from prison during an escape.
Camara was recaptured on November 4, a few hours after being expelled from Maison Centrale prison in Conakry by an armed commando, according to his lawyer. His lawyer, Pépé Antoine Lamah, said the jailed ex-president did not voluntarily participate in the escape and was instead kidnapped by armed men.
However, a judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated that the masked and armed soldiers who arrived at the prison declared that they “had come to free Captain Dadis Camara”. It was unclear whether Camara escaped of his own free will.
Camara – a former army officer who himself came to power in a coup and ruled the country from December 2008 to January 2010 – has been detained since September 2022 on charges of murder, sexual violence, torture, kidnapping and sequestration.
They stem from an attack carried out in 2009 by security forces loyal to the head of the military government at the time.
The killing of 156 people and the rape of at least 109 women began during a political rally at a Conakry stadium on September 28, 2009 and continued in the days that followed, according to a UN-mandated investigation . Camara and ten other co-defendants face life in prison if convicted.