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Congo police detain former health minister

KINSHASA — A former Congolese health minister was taken into custody yesterday over alleged mismanagement of funds for the country’s response to the Ebola epidemic, police said.

Oly Ilunga oversaw Democratic Republic of Congo’s handling of the outbreak, the second deadliest in history, for nearly a year.

He was stripped by the presidency of that responsibility in July and resigned from the government days later.

Earlier in September, his lawyers said he had been questioned by police about his role managing the Ebola response.

They denied any wrongdoing by Ilunga.

In a statement, the national police said Ilunga was detained because they believed he planned to evade legal proceedings by leaving the country.

“Unfortunately, police received information about his disappearance with a view to reaching Congo-Brazzaville,” the police’s press service said, referring to neighboring Congo Republic.

It said Ilunga was in police custody and would come before a prosecutor on September 16.

His lawyers declined immediate comment.

—Reuters

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