International arrest warrant issued for son of Mali’s former president

An international arrest warrant has been issued for the son of Mali’s former president over the disappearance of an investigative journalist in the Malian capital Bamako in 2016.

Interpol issued the warrant for Karim Keita, a former lawmaker, and the eldest son of Mali’s former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was ousted in a military coup in August 2020.

The warrant, which has not yet been posted on Interpol’s website, was issued at the request of an investigating magistrate in Bamako, who is looking into the disappearance of Birama Touré.

Touré has not been seen since 29 January 2016, according to his family and the editor of Le Sphinx, the weekly magazine, for which he had been working on a story that would have damaged Keita’s reputation.

The magazine and the family suspect that Touré was kidnapped, tortured and murdered after several months in custod.

Keita, who escaped arrest during the coup, and has lived in Cote d’Ivoire ever since, has always denied any role in Touré’s disappearance.

In 2019 filed a defamation action against the director of the magazine and a radio journalist over the allegations. The case was thrown out for technical reasons, but the editor of the magazine Adama Drame, is now exiled in France, fearing for his safety.