Faure Gnassingbé's half-brother, sentenced in 2009 to 20 years in prison for plotting against the president, was released on medical grounds and sent to Libreville, Gabon.
He is the former Minister of Defense, but above all the half-brother of the Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé. In April 2009, Kpatcha Gnassingbé was accused of attempted conspiracy against the head of state. Imprisoned since, he was supported by the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and by the United Nations, which considered that it was an “arbitrary detention”.
Kpatcha Gnassingbé had tried to ask for exile in the United States. Without success. After his arrest, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, the justice having found "serious and consistent evidence" concerning a plot to overthrow his brother. Despite the condemnations of the international community, Prosecutor Bakai had assured that the conditions of detention of Brother Gnassingbé were "acceptable" and "humane".
In June 2021, injured in the foot, Kpatcha Gnassingbe had asked for his release, fearing to have to be amputated. Almost two years later, he finally won his case. He was able to leave his place of detention, near Lomé, to go to Gabon. Last week, indicates the power in place, a special flight was chartered for Kpatcha Gnassingbe and his wife, who flew in the direction of Libreville. The detainee's doctor had previously requested an evacuation to Tunisia.
What about the other prisoners?
Taken care of by the doctors of the military pavilion of the Sylvanus Olympio University Hospital Center a few months ago, Kpatcha Gnassingbe could not be operated on because of the hospital's lack of resources. The epilogue of a story that never ceased to question: if Kpatcha Gnassingbe intended to run against his brother in a presidential election, his state of health should have put an end to his political ambitions.
It is above all the end of a prison ordeal, for the detainee, according to the Association of Victims of Torture in Togo (Asvitto), which has regularly alerted on the case of Kpatcha Gnassingbe. The association welcomes "the wisdom of the head of state" and the end of the "arbitrary detention" of the president's half-brother. But, she said, this release for medical reasons should also apply to Abi Atti and Kokou Tchaa Dontema, two detainees whom Asvitto requests that they be hospitalized.
Asvitto invited "the Head of State to widen the negotiating table which has remained family until then, to all the other victims to allow this file which has lasted too long to be closed for good".