Former presidential spokesperson charged over anti-Trump tweets
A former Malian government official was charged on Thursday for sending embarrassing tweets from the president’s account about the US assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani a judicial source said.
The former spokesperson for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Tiegoum Maiga, later outed himself on his own Twitter account.
Keita’s official Twitter account had posted on Monday that “no one is around to tell Trump that he committed a fuck-up” by ordering the assassination of Soleimani.
Soleimani was killed on Friday in a US drone strike in Iraq ordered by President Donald Trump, triggering fears of a retaliatory strike and an escalation of conflict in the Middle East.
The Malian presidency account added that Trump “threatens world peace and has made of the US a rogue state”.
The tweets, which have since been deleted, were widely shared and Maiga was arrested.
On Thursday he was charged and “placed in detention for internet fraud and harmful data entry,” his lawyer Moussa Maiga told AFP. A judicial source confirmed the charges.
“What is serious is the use of the presidential (Twitter) account to send a message of this nature which could create problems between our two countries,” a presidential official said.
Maiga, the brother of former Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, said on Tuesday that he left his job in November but had forgotten he still had access to the president’s account.
The tweets were meant for his personal account and he had “no desire to be a nuisance,” he added.
The US also suffered a PR fiasco on Monday, when it said a draft letter describing steps to move its military out of Iraq had been mistakenly sent out.