The Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant for Karim Keita, a son of Mali’s former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
The notice for Keita, a former influential lawmaker, is in connection with the disappearance of an investigative journalist in 2016.
Keita has remained in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, since the military coup that overthrew his father in August 2020.
Before his disappearance, Birama Toure, an investigative journalist was working for the Bamako weekly Le Sphinx.
Director of the magazine, Adama Drame notes Toure has not been seen since January 29, 2016.
Drake says the journalist had been working on a story that would have damaged Keita’s reputation and had approached him about it when Toure went missing.
Drame and Toure’s family suspect he was abducted, tortured and killed after several months in detention.
Following Birama’s disappearance, the umbrella body for broadcasters and journalists in Mali, Maison de la Presse (MP) organised a press conference on February 27, 2017 to express its concern.
Keita has denied any involvement in Toure’s disappearance and in 2019 filed a defamation action against the director of the magazine and a radio journalist over the accusations.
Although the courts in Mali threw out the case for technical reasons, Drake himself, fearing for his safety has since fled to France and remained there.
Most Malians believe Karim Keita as the arrowhead of graft and misappropriation that characterised his father’s tenure.
He fled to Ivory Coast, escaping arrest by the military when his father was ousted on August 18, 2020.