BAMAKO, April 24 Malian authorities have changed
the indictment against former military coup leader General
Amadou Sanogo to a more serious charge of conspiracy to murder
which carries the death penalty in the West African nation, his
lawyer said Thursday.
Sanogo was arrested and charged with complicity in
kidnapping in November over the disappearance during the 2012
coup of dozens of paratroopers loyal to toppled President Amadou
But in recent months the investigation has led to some 30
bodies being dug from mass graves around the former junta
headquarters in Kati, about 20 km (15 miles) north of the
"There has been a change in the indictment. Now he is
charged with complicity to commit murder," Harouna Toureh told
Reuters, noting that the charge carried the death penalty if
The lawyer also said the discovery of the bodies was the
reason behind the change in Sanogo's indictment.
Sanogo led the March 2012 coup that plunged Mali into chaos
following a Tuareg rebellion and a later occupation of the north
of the country by Islamist militants.
The case against Sanogo and several other soldiers is part
of efforts by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to assert
civilian control over the Malian army, accused by human rights
groups of excessive violence and torture during the chaotic
General Yamoussa Camara, a former defence minister during
the military rule, and three other senior junta officials were
arrested in February in connection with the investigation.
(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by