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Mali’s ex-Prime Minister Soumeylou Maiga dies in detention


Mali’s former prime minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, arrested over corruption allegations last year, died of an undisclosed illness in hospital.


He died on Monday, March 21, one of his lawyers said.


Maiga, 68, was detained in August over his suspected role in the purchase of a presidential plane during the rule of ex-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, ousted in a military coup a year earlier.


He was charged with multiple counts of graft and was awaiting trial.


His lawyers maintained that he was innocent.


One of his lawyers told Reuters he died at a clinic in the capital Bamako on Monday morning, where he had been hospitalised on medical parole since December.


His family and doctors had unsuccessfully pushed for Maiga to be allowed to travel abroad for treatment as his health deteriorated in Bamako’s main prison. However, relatives said authorities did not reply to their evacuation requests. 


Maiga, a former defence minister, was named prime minister in 2017 and resigned two years later, four weeks after a massacre of about 160 Fulani herders by an ethnic vigilante group shocked the West African nation.

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