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Mali Coup Leader Arrested on Murder Charges

FILE - Malian military junta leader captain Amadou Sanogo speaking at the Kati military camp near Bamako, April 3, 2012.
Authorities in Mali have arrested the leader of last year's coup, General Amadou Sanogo, and charged him with murder.

Sanogo's communications director, Mohamed Coulibaly, said security forces took Sanogo from his home in central Bamako Wednesday and brought him before a judge whose summons the general had repeatedly ignored.

Mali's prosecutor-general Daniel Tessouge later confirmed to VOA that Sanogo has been indicted on charges of murder and assassination.

He said the charges are in connection with the killing of army "Red Beret" soldiers in April 2012, during a counter-coup attempt, and the crushing of a mutiny at the Kati army barracks in September.

Tessouge says Sanogo remains in custody.

Sanogo led a group of army officers who overthrew President Amadou Toure in March 2012, and briefly served as the country's de facto leader.

The coup allowed al-Qaida-linked Islamist militants to seize control of northern Mali. They were driven out by French and African forces early this year.

Sanogo was said to retain considerable influence in Mali even after handing over power to a transitional government last year. He was recently promoted all the way from captain to general, skipping over three other army ranks.

Mali is attempting to return to normalcy after last year's turmoil. The country recently elected a new president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and held parliamentary elections on Sunday.