Lansana Conte’s Son freed from prison in Guinea

Ousmane Conte - Son of former President Lansana Conte

The government of the  West African state of Guinea, has released the son of former president Lansana Conte, who has been held in prison for the past 17 months on accusations of narcotics trafficking and named by the United States as a drugs kingpin. “Ousmane Conte was freed last night. He is at home,” an associate of Conte who declined to be identified told the press.

Surces within the country’s police force also confirmed Conte’s  release. Conte, whose father ruled Guinea for 24 years until his death in December 2008, was arrested two months later by the junta that came to power. The army officer confessed to being involved in the drugs business but said he was not a ringleader. The American President Barack Obama in June named Conte as one of five individuals suitable for sanctions such as asset freezes under the U.S. Kingpin Act targeting foreign drug traffickers.

It was not immediately clear whether Conte’s release was provisional or definitive.

Guinea is currently facing a run-off of its presidential election intended to hand the West African state back to civilian rule. The country’s leader, Captain Dadis Camara is currently in Burkina Faso on a self-imposed exile after a failed assassination attempt on his life. General Sekouba Konate has been the Interim leader who has steered through a democratic transition of power.

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