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Burundi activist held for criticising minister

2012-02-08 10:06

Bujumbura - Burundi police have detained an anti-graft activist who criticised the country's justice minister over corruption in the judiciary, where candidates for jobs were expected to pay bribes.

Faustin Ndikumana was arrested late on Tuesday and told reporters before being taken to Bujumbura's Mpimba prison that his arrest had come after a complaint by Justice Minister Pascal Barandaiye.

In his letter of complaint, a copy of which has been seen, by AFP, Ndikumana said candidates had been obliged to pay $1 450 to get posts in the judiciary.

Justice Minister Pascal Barandaiye was "partly responsible for this state of affairs", he added in the letter.

"I don't have any personal problems with the justice minister," Ndikumana told reporters.

"We criticise certain bad practices that we see. It's about the system not individuals."

Burundi is the most corrupt country in east Africa, according to Transparency International. Its judiciary is often condemend as the country's most corrupt institution.

An anti-corruption watchdog took Burundi's government before an East African court in December on allegations of embezzling millions of dollars.