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» 22.04.2010 - President Ellen in Liberia poll headache
» 15.02.2010 - IMF commissions a mission to Liberia
» 22.12.2009 - First female wins Liberia's youth leadership award
» 18.12.2009 - Liberia exempted from arms embargo
» 17.12.2009 - Media rights group condemns arrest of media players
» 01.12.2009 - Liberia pledges support to small farmers
» 07.10.2009 - Young Liberians to audition for top music award
» 02.10.2009 - West African biodiversity corridor high on Abidjan meeting

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Liberia's ex-President charged with corruption

afrol News, 28 February - The government of Liberia formally charged the country's former Interim President, Gyude Bryant, with theft. He led the country after the world community had sacked Charles Taylor from power and headed the transition into today's democratic regime.

Mr Bryant, who is accused of misappropriating over US$ 1 million, ruled the war-ravaged country for two years after former rebel-turned-President Taylor relinquished power, following demands from the UN Security Council. Mr Taylor himself is charged with war crimes by a UN special court for Sierra Leone.

Liberia's Information Minister, Lawrence Bropleh, who breaks the news about the charges brought against Liberia's Interim President. He said, "It is now left to the Justice Ministry to send Mr Bryant to court."

However, Mr Bryant said he was neither aware of the charges, nor served with a written charge sheet.

Mr Bryant was among former and present top Liberian government officials indicted in investigations of carried out by an independent firm, Liberia General Auditing Bureau. This body said it has discovered evidence of bogus payments of goods and services by some authorities.

Mr Bryant ruled Liberia from 2003 until the 2006 presidential elections, which ushered Africa's first female President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to power. President Johnson-Sirleaf had declared a battle against official corruption. She said the anti-graft fight would begin with investigations into the financial activities of the transitional government that had served before her.

In December last year, Liberian police arrested the two former ministers - the ex-Finance and Trade Minister and a deputy minister - after they were indicted for misusing state funds.

In a separate development, the Liberian government revoked license of 'The Independent' newspaper in Monrovia for one year. Its offices were also sealed off by the police.

Information Ministry officials said the paper was punished for publishing a photograph of the former Presidential Affairs Minister, Willis Knuckles, having sex with two ladies.

Mr Knuckles, a seasoned civil servant with four decades of experience, was so ashamed that he had to resign and apologise to the nation, his family and associates.

Media activists described the closure of 'The Independent' as "illegal" and a violation of freedom of expression.

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