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Ex-President Ahamed Sambi Jailed for Life

A court in the Comoros on Monday handed down a life sentence for high treason to ex-president Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, who was convicted of selling passports to stateless people living in the Gulf.

Sambi, 64, an arch rival of President Azali Assoumani, was sentenced by the State Security Court, a special judicial body whose rulings cannot be appealed."He betrayed the mission entrusted to him by the Comorians," public prosecutor Ali Mohamed Djounaid told the court last week as he requested a life sentence.

Sambi, who drove the little Indian Sea archipelago somewhere in the range of 2006 and 2011, pushed through a regulation in 2008 permitting the offer of travel papers for high charges.The plan focused on the purported bidoon - - a Middle Easterner minority numbering during the many thousands who can't acquire citizenship.

The previous president was blamed for stealing a great many dollars under the plan.The indictment said the expense was more than $1.8 billion - - more than the devastated country's Gross domestic product."They gave hooligans the option to sell Comorian identity as though they were selling peanuts," said Eric Emmanuel Sossa, a legal counselor for regular citizen offended parties.

However, Sambi's French legal counselor Jean-Gilles Halimi said "no proof" of missing cash or financial balances had been advanced to propose a wrongdoing.Sambi wouldn't go to the preliminary after a short appearance at the principal hearing, as his legal counselors said there were no ensures he would be judged decently.

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Ali Mohamed Djounaid Azali Assoumani Comorian Indian Sea State Security Court

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