Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, Mali’s former prime minister who was imprisoned last year on corruption charges, died in hospital on Monday of an unexplained illness, according to one of his lawyers.
Maiga, 68, was arrested in August on suspicion of playing a part in the acquisition of a presidential jet during the presidency of ex-president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was deposed in a military coup a year ago.
He was accused of corruption on many counts and was awaiting trial. Lawyers insisted that their client was not guilty.
One of them told Reuters that he died on Monday morning at a facility in Bamako, where he had been on parole since December.
As Maiga’s health deteriorated at Bamako’s main jail, his family and physicians unsuccessfully lobbied for him to be permitted to fly overseas for treatment.
Authorities did not respond to relatives’ demands for evacuation, according to relatives. Two government representatives who were contacted by Reuters for comment did not respond immediately.
Maiga, a former defence minister, was appointed prime minister in 2017 and resigned two years later, four weeks after an ethnic vigilante group massacred 160 Fulani herders, shocking the West African nation.