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Africa

Ivory Coast remains not those of missing reporter

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-12

Remains exhumed this month in the Ivory Coast do not belong to a missing French-Canadian journalist, a family lawyer said Thursday. Guy-André Kieffer was investigating corruption in the cocoa industry when he disappeared in Abidjan in 2004.

AFP - Skeletal remains exhumed in the Ivory Coast earlier this month are not those of a French-Canadian journalist who went missing there almost eight years ago, a family lawyer said Thursday.

"The DNA tests were negative. The body recovered was not that of Guy-Andre Kieffer," Alexis Gublin, the lawyer for the missing journalist's brother, told AFP.

Kieffer had been investigating corruption within Ivory Coast's cocoa sector and was last seen alive in an Abidjan parking lot on April 16, 2004.

He had fixed a meeting there with Michel Legre, the brother-in-law of Simone Gbagbo, wife of then president Laurent Gbagbo.

The bones were found last Friday in the region of Issia, some 360 kilometres (225 miles) west of Abidjan, and DNA samples were sent off to France for analysis.

"It is a disappointment for the family because it cannot start mourning, but this does nothing to affect the ongoing investigation, "said Gublin.

The journalist's wife Osange Silou-Kieffer had said after the skeleton was found that she feared it was the remains of her husband.

"We have always clung to the one percent chance that he was still alive," she told AFP.

The lack of success in the inquiry into Kieffer's fate led to a further souring of relations between France and the former regime headed by Gbagbo, who is now accused of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

The probe was only relaunched recently, after Gbagbo was ousted by President Alassane Ouattara and a French examining magistrate was sent back to Ivory Coast.
 

Date created : 2012-01-12

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