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Government Charges Journalist, Politician With Conspiracy

July 15, 1990

BRAZZAVILLE, Congo (AP) _ A former journalist and an ex-politician have been arrested and charged with conspiring to overthrow the government, the government said.

Police arrested Celestin Nkoua, a journalist, and Clement Mierassa, a former politician, last week after a four-year investigation, the government said late Saturday.

In a communique, the government cited ″evidence of seditious documents and other tracts″ that were found after a police search of Nkoua’s home.

That seemed to indicate the possibility of other arrests. The announcement came days after 150 intellectuals and military officers signed a petition calling for a multiparty system.

Nkoua was one of the signatories. After his arrest, the government seized a printing plant he operates.

Police Lt. Col. Pierre Oba said on national television that the seditious documents included outlines for a new opposition party, a provisional government and a new Constitution.

This central African country of 1.9 million has been ruled since 1979 by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, a former general.

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