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Former Liberian President Arrested on Corruption Charges, Freed on Bail


Liberia's former transitional president has been freed on bail after police arrested him Tuesday on corruption charges.

Liberia's Solicitor General, Tiawan Gongloe, says former president Gyude Bryant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for allegedly diverting $1.4 million of public money for his own use.

Mr. Bryant was appointed to lead Liberia's interim government after former warlord Charles Taylor was forced from power in late 2003. Mr. Bryant's term ended in 2006, when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took office following democratic elections.

The solicitor general says Mr. Bryant's arrest reflects the commitment of Ms. Sirleaf's government to fighting corruption at all levels.

Mr. Bryant denies any wrongdoing. His defense lawyer tells VOA English to Africa the former leader spent public money within the law to preserve the peace between Liberia's former warring factions.

The lawyer says the corruption charges against Mr. Bryant are unfair because he helped return Liberia to civilian rule.

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