Former Madagascar finance minister detained over loss of public funds

ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - Former Madagascar finance minister Jean Razafindravonona is being held in pre-trial detention over misappropriation of public funds, the country’s anti-graft office said on Thursday.

Razafindravonona, who was finance minister from April 2014 to February 2015, was detained on Wednesday.

“He is involved in a case of expenses related to fictitious public contracts,” Benjamin Ratovoson, head of the Independent Anti-Corruption Office (Bianco) in the capital, told Reuters.

Lawyers for Razafindravonona, who previously served as the director of the budget office in the finance ministry, were not available immediately for comment.

The Indian Ocean island nation ranked 155th out of 180 countries in this year’s Transparency International’s perception of corruption index.

Reporting by Lova Rabary; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg