Mali: French Foreign Minister Ordered to Appear in Bamako Court

The French minister of foreign affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected at a courthouse in Bamako on June 20 over charges of awarding a public contract for the production of Malian passports. The case that dates back to 2015.

The summons dates from April 20, but it only appeared on May 11 on social media networks. It reads that Jean-Yves Le Drian is summoned on June 20 at 8 a.m. by the Malian courts “for a matter concerning him”. He and his son Thomas, whose name is also mentioned, are suspected of “damage to public property and other offenses at against of the State of Mali”.

The complaint was launched by Mali association Maliko. Maliko accuses Jean-Yves Le Drian, then French Minister of Defense, of having “taken advantage of his position to twist his arm to Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (IBK)”, then president of Mali, so that Oberthur, a Breton company now called Idemia, obtains the contract previously awarded to a Canadian company.

Last year, the magazine Jeune Afrique published an article highlighting the commitment of Jean-Yves Le Drian in these region without revealing any illegal acts. The Maliko association believes that “the Malian rules and procedures have been seriously violated”.

A French diplomatic source told RFI that the French Embassy has not been officially informed, and says it was “yet another provocation”.

Translated from RFI by Allafrica’s Michael Tantoh

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