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Former ranking state employee released

The former director general of the state daily newspaper, 'Fraternite Matin', was released at the weekend after a brief detention and questioning by the military, the press attache at the ruling Conseil National de Salut Public (CNSP), Desire Dakori, told IRIN on Monday.

"Michel Kouame is now at home," he said.

Kouame and the former minister of defence, Bandama N'Gatta, were arrested on Friday on arrival at Abidjan's Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport from Togo and taken to Akuedo military barracks in the capital.

Dakori said the two men, who fled Cote d'Ivoire following the 24 December 1999 coup which deposed Henri Konan Bedie and brought General Robert Guei to power, had been detained because of a "security problem".

N'Gatta is still detained. In a statement published in the newspaper on Monday, the ruling military council denied rumours that he had died in detention.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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