Former Malian prime minister dies in Bamako hospital

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Mali’s former Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, arrested over corruption allegations last year, has died of an undisclosed illness in hospital.

One of his lawyers told the Reuters news agency that the 68-year-old died at a clinic in the capital, Bamako, on Monday morning.

Maiga was arrested in August over his suspected role in the purchase of a presidential plane during the rule of then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, overthrown in a military coup a year earlier.

He was charged with multiple counts of corruption and was awaiting trial. Lawyers maintained their client was innocent.

He died in the hospital where he had been kept on parole since December.

His family and doctors had unsuccessfully pushed for Maiga to be allowed to travel abroad for treatment as his health deteriorated in Bamako’s main prison.

Relatives said authorities did not reply to their evacuation requests. There was no immediate response from two government spokespeople whom Reuters sought comment from.

The government issued a statement later on Monday announcing that Maiga died after a “long illness” and presenting condolences to the family.

Maiga, a former defence minister, was named prime minister in 2017. He resigned two years later, four weeks after a massacre of some 160 Fulani herders by an ethnic vigilante group.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES