In Mali, former Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga and former Minister of Economy Bouaré Fily Sissoko were arrested this Thursday, August 25. Prosecuted and detained following their summons to the Supreme Court, in connection with two cases dating back to 2014: the purchase of the presidential plane and the military equipment contract, which represents more than 130 billion CFA francs.
Reports from the Court of Auditors and the Auditor General, but also the IMF, had then attached over-invoicing and many deviations. These files were closed in 2018 and then reopened last year. Today, Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga, Minister of Defense at the time of the facts, and Bouaré Fily Sissoko, then Minister of Economy, are officially indicted by the Supreme Court.
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Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga must answer for five points: forgery, corruption, favoritism, breach of trust and influence. In the case of Bouaré Fily Sissoko, she is charged with crimes against public property, forgery and use of forgery, favoritism, nepotism and corruption.
Information obtained from legal sources, although the Supreme Court’s prosecutor, Mamadou Timbo, did not currently respond to RFI’s requests. Several other members of the Supreme Court have stated that they were not informed of the progress of this procedure, which they regret. As for Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga’s lawyers, they prefer not to speak at the moment.
The presidential plan bought for almost 20 billion FCFA The purchase of a presidential plan for almost 20 billion FCFA and the over-invoicing of contracts for military equipment, with stockings of 10,000 FCFA, had scandalized the country, and the restart of the procedure last year was praised by many actors against corruption.
But its recent takeover of the Supreme Court, instead of the High Court of Justice, the only one that is theoretically competent to judge ministers, raises many concerns. Among the judges themselves and among relatives of the accused, who condemn an ”instrumentalization” of justice by the transitional authorities. “They want to stop those who disturb them,” comments a relative of Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga, recalling that the former prime minister did not hide his presidential ambitions and that he had recently spoken out against the extension of the transition period.