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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 15:34 GMT
Liberia police arrest ex-leader
Liberia's former President Gyude Bryant
Gyude Bryant took over from Charles Taylor in 2003
Liberia's ex-President Gyude Bryant has been arrested over charges that he embezzled some $1m while in office.

Police detained him after he failed to appear in court to answer the charges.

Mr Bryant, who headed the country during a transitional phase after the end of the 14-year civil war in 2003, was charged in February.

He denies the charges. As he was being taken to the main prison, he said that he was being rewarded with detention for restoring peace and democracy.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf took office last year after winning elections on a pledge to fight graft.

Mr Bryant was originally charged after an audit by the West African regional body, Ecowas, uncovered evidence of corruption during his two years in office ending in 2006.

He had been free on bail.

"This is a very, very, very dark day for Liberia. This is the reward we get for restoring peace and democracy to our country," Mr Bryant, dressed in a white shirt and olive-coloured trousers, told reporters as he was led into the prison compound.

His power-sharing government took over after Charles Taylor stepped down, with rebel forces on the outskirts of the capital, Monrovia.

Mr Taylor is now facing war crimes charges.

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