Two French nationals, Paul Rafanoharana and Philippe François alongside twenty others accused of conspiring to topple the government have been sentenced to prison terms.
The charges leveled against them range from tampering with state security, planning a coup d’état against president Andry Rajoelina and forming criminal association.
According to report by Madagascar authorities, the planned coup was themed ‘Apollo 21’. In a raid that took place sometime in July, evidence of money, mail trails and ammunition that had the name ‘APOLLO 21’ on them were retrieved as evidence.
There was also evidence of explicit details of plans on how to get rid of certain individuals including the president. The group specifically said they intended to “eliminate and neutralize.”
One of the culprits, François, was given 10-years prison term. He is known to be a former colonel of the French army.
The other culprit, Rafanoharana, who is a multi-racial (French and Madagascar origin) was handed 20 years prison term. Rafanoharana, at a time was President Rajoelina’s adviser. His wife was not left out. She was handed a five-year prison term.
Other co-accusers in the case were the former Madagascar Prime Minister Victor Ramahatra got also a five-year term.
Madagascar, a former French colony has had series of coups and civil rest since their independence in 1960.