Madagascar: Prosecutor confirms the preparation of a coup d’Etat

Almost a fortnight after the arrest of the two Frenchmen on charges of undermining State security, the prosecutor at the Antananarivo Court of Appeal, Berthine Razafiarivony, gave a press briefing to explain the progress of the investigation: in particular, she confirmed, through the description of the evidence collected by the investigators, that an attempt to overthrow the regime was planned.
During the searches, investigators found the “Apollo 21 project” budget. This document would specify the conditions under which the coup d’état was planned: a detailed and costed plan to eliminate five Malagasy political figures, including the president of the Republic Andry Rajoelina.
This is the first time that prosecutor Razafiarivony has detailed the material evidence that led to the arrest and detention of Paul Rafanoharana and Philippe François. The two men, respectively Franco-Malagasy and French, both residing in Madagascar, were arrested Tuesday evening, July 20, by the criminal brigade, the first at his home, and the second in the departure lounge of Ivato, as he was leaving the Big Island permanently.
The magistrate also confirmed several items seized by investigators that had leaked to the Malagasy press: a sum of money of about 200,000 euros, a shotgun and two vehicles. In all, she explained, twenty-one people have been arrested, including gendarmes and active military personnel, and 14 are currently in custody.
The investigation is ongoing and has been entrusted to the police and gendarmerie, who are working with the Antananarivo prosecutor’s office.
Furthermore Oil firm Benchmark Group said Monday it had been approached for funds to topple Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, days after the government said it had foiled an assassination plot.
Benchmark, a majority shareholder in crude extractor Madagascar Oil, said it had “received an email from the Madagascan-French citizen Paul R. soliciting 10 million euros for political destabilization purposes”

About Geraldine Boechat 1810 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia