Murder case sparks anti-French reprisals in Djibouti

24th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 22 (AFP)- Authorities in Djibouti are to expel a number of French aid workers and have cut the transmitter of a French radio station in the Horn of Africa country in a row over a murder case, officials said here Saturday.

PARIS, Jan 22 (AFP)- Authorities in Djibouti are to expel a number of French aid workers and have cut the transmitter of a French radio station in the Horn of Africa country in a row over a murder case, officials said here Saturday.

The measures follow a French court's decision to summon the head of Djibouti's secret services, Hassan Said, following allegations that he suborned witnesses in the suspected murder of a French judge, Bernard Borrel, in the country in 1995.

"The authorities in Djibouti have taken the decision to expel six French technical assistants," French foreign ministry spokeswoman Cecile Pozzo di Borgo told AFP.

Radio France Internationale, a state-owned broadcaster, added that its transmitter in Djibouti was shut down on January 14 after broadcasting a programme on the Borrel case.

The court in Versailles ordered Said to be heard on January 10 after a former Djiboutian officer, Ali Iftin, who has fled to Brussels, alleged that the secret services chief had forced him to lie to the inquiry into Borrel's death.

The judge's body was found soaked in petrol and half burned 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Djiboutian capital in October 1995.

An official Djiboutian inquiry found that he had committed suicide but the French courts, which took up the case after Borrel's widow Elisabeth lodged a complaint, suspect murder.

A row between France and its former colony could have repercussions on the main French military and naval base in Africa, which houses some 2,700 troops.

The United States and Germany also have forces based in Djibouti.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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