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Former CAR President Ange-Felix Patasse A Wanted Man - 2003-08-27

An international arrest warrant has been issued for the former Central African Republic president Ange-Felix Patasse. He is wanted for murder and theft of more than 100-million dollars from the state treasury.

Ange-Felix Patasse, currently in exile in Togo, has denounced the international arrest warrant as illegal. He says that the warrant is an attempt to prevent him from returning home to participate in the national reconciliation dialogue.

The attorney general of the Central African Republic is charging Mr. Patasse with a range of crimes, including "murder, rape, assault ... sharing intelligence with a foreign power, and undermining the internal and external security of the state."

While in power, Mr. Patasse invited Congolese fighters into the country and he is now being charged with the crimes those fighters committed. The warrant also accuses him of misappropriating 115-million dollars of state funds.

Mr. Patasse was ousted in a coup last March, after holding power for nearly a decade.