Wednesday 20 September 2017

Head of Burkina's top media panel charged with embezzlement

Head of Burkina's top media panel charged with embezzlement
(AFP (eng) 09/07/17)
The president of the Higher Council of Communication (CSC) in Burkina Faso, Nathalie Some

The president of the Higher Council of Communication (CSC) in Burkina Faso, Nathalie Some, has been detained and charged with a range of financial crimes, a legal source said Thursday.

Prosecutor Maiza Sereme in Ouagadougou called for an investigation into "the embezzlement of public funds, fraud, corruption, overcharging, money laundering and nepotism," the source told AFP, asking not to be named.

Arrested on Wednesday night, Some was placed in detention, along with her administrative and financial director Sere Souleymane, while fellow suspects were charged, the source said.

The charges arise from the delivery to the state prosecution service of a report by the country's top anti-corruption authority, which probed the management of funds allocated to the CSC to cover elections in 2015, as part of its mandate to regulate broadcast media.

The report, published in May after a 10-month investigation, accused Some of "multiple intentional violations of public procurement procedures... (and) irregular spending" totalling more than 800 million CFA francs (1.2 million euros, $1.46 million). The sum accounted for 87 percent of expenditure incurred.

Some rejected the findings in the report and asked in vain for a second opinion.

Three other people are being prosecuted in the case, mainly for being alleged accomplices in the series of financial crimes with which Some has been charged.

A journalist by training, Some, 56, joined the CSC as head of its press service in 2013. She was elected president of the institution in 2014.

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