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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
CAR ex-leader convicted of fraud
Ange-Felix Patasse
Mr Patasse refuses to accept the court's authority
Former Central African Republic President Ange-Felix Patasse has been found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 20 years' hard labour.

Mr Patasse and three other former politicians were tried in absentia in the capital Bangui. Mr Patasse lives in exile in the Togolese capital, Lome.

The ex-president, who was overthrown in a military coup in 2003, is also accused of embezzling public funds.

He has said he refuses to recognise the authority of the court.

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Mr Patasse was fined 6m CFA francs ($11,715), on top of the hard labour sentence, after being found guilty on fraud charges related to activities during his time in office.

The court has referred the embezzlement charges back to an investigating magistrate for hearings at a later date.

The trial of a fifth person accused, who is the only one currently in the Central African Republic, is scheduled to begin in early September.


SEE ALSO
CAR: A classic African coup
18 Mar 03 |  Africa
CAR coup speculation
21 Mar 03 |  Africa
Country profile: Central African Republic
29 Jun 06 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Central African Republic
28 Jun 06 |  Country profiles

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