The Congo Republic charged opposition politician Jean-Marie Mokoko, a former army chief of staff, with attacking state security three months after he challenged President Denis Sassou Nguesso in elections.
Mokoko, who worked for Sassou Nguesso until he announced his candidacy, is held in a prison in the capital, Brazzaville, according to his lawyer, Yvon Eric Ibouanga. He was also charged with illegally possessing weapons, Ibouanga told reporters late Thursday.
Mokoko is suspected of plotting to overthrow Sassou Nguesso because of a video dating from 2007 that surfaced during the election campaign and in which he is seen discussing a coup plan, his lawyer said. Mokoko denies the charges and doesn’t acknowledge Sassou Nguesso’s victory.
The March vote followed a referendum on the constitution that allowed Sassou Nguesso, who’s been in power since the end of a civil war in 1997, to seek a third consecutive term. The referendum was boycotted by the opposition.