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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007, 21:49 GMT
Liberia ex-leader freed from jail
Gyude Bryant
Gyude Bryant led Liberia through a two-year peace process
Liberia former leader Gyude Bryant, who was arrested on Friday over corruption allegations, has now been released.

Police had detained him after he failed to appear in court to answer charges of embezzling some $1m while in office.

He was freed after receiving a summons to court on Monday, an unnamed judicial source told the French news agency AFP.

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

The former leader, who was charged in February, smiled as he left Monrovia Central Prison on Saturday afternoon, AFP reported.

On Friday, as he was being taken to jail, he said that he was being rewarded for restoring peace and democracy with detention.

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.

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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