French court dismisses case against rebel leader
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A court on the island of Reunion dismissed a case against the rebel leader of Anjouan, Mohamed Bacar, who was charged of illegal entry into the French territory of Mayotte with unauthorised weapons.
A court on the French island of Reunion on Saturday dismissed a case against the ousted leader of the Comoros island of Anjouan, Mohamed Bacar, but ordered him held in custody.
The decision also involved 23 other men, mostly soldiers. All will remain in detention for the time being, police said.
They were to have faced charges of illegal entry into the French territory of Mayotte and carrying unauthorised weapons.
Bacar and his 23 men, mostly members of the military, were detained when they landed on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, where they had been transferred overnight Thursday by French military plane.
Bacar was president of Anjouan island from March 2002 but his re-election in June 2007 was declared illegal by the Comoros and the African Union and he was ousted in a military operation Tuesday.
He fled to Mayotte, an island in the Comoros which stayed French when the rest of the archipelago opted for independence in 1974.
Mohamed Abdou Madi, a former cooperation minister in Bacar's regime, was arrested in Anjouan on Friday, officials said Saturday.
A former Comoros charge d'affaires in Madagascar, he had teamed up with Bacar, becoming his spokesman for the last couple of months.
He was held in the Jeje region, Mohamed Bacar Dossar, in charge of defence issues in the Comoros, told AFP from Mutsamudu, Anjouan's main city.
A former candidate in the Comoros presidential election, Ibrahim Halidi Abdremane, who was also close to Bacar, was also arrested.
Another aide, Caabi Elchroutoui, was put under house arrest, said Dossar.
Comoran troops backed by Sudanese and Tanzanian African Union forces meanwhile kept searching the island for military and political aides of the former leader.
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