Ex-president of Niger released

AP News
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Posted: May 10, 2011 5:25 PM
Ex-president of Niger released

Niger's former president, Mamadou Tandja, has been freed, 14 months after being placed under house arrest, then jailed following a military coup that toppled his government.

On Tuesday night, Tandja was seen leaving the prison in Kollo, 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Niamey, the capital, where he had been transferred after the February, 2010, coup.

A long cortege of cars followed him as he was escorted to his home in Niamey, where a large crowd of supporters waited outside. He flashed a thumbs up sign, but did not answer questions from reporters.

Tandja was overthrown by a military junta after forcing a change in the constitution that would allow him to stay in office beyond his legal term.

The junta held elections, returning the country to democratic rule.