Mali seeks international warrant for son of ex-President Keita, legal sources say

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BAMAKO (Reuters) - Malian authorities have sought an international arrest warrant for the son of ousted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, two legal sources in Mali said on Tuesday, in a case linked to the disappearance of a journalist in 2016.

Interpol, which declined to comment, can issue a so-called red notice on behalf of member countries that asks police worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a wanted person for extradition, surrender or similar legal action.

A source at a court in Bamako with direct knowledge of the case and a source at the Court of Appeal said the authorities had asked for an international arrest warrant for Karim Keita, without giving further details.

The prosecutor's office and police have not confirmed the move.

The West African nation's press association Maison de la Presse welcomed media reports the authorities were pursuing Karim Keita, who has been based in Ivory Coast since a coup ended his father's presidency last August.

In a statement, the association's President Bandiougou Dante said he hoped the move would help shed light on what happened to investigative journalist Birama Toure, who went missing in January 2016.

Karim Keita could not be reached for comment.

While his father was president, Karim Keita's lavish lifestyle and position as chairman of parliament's powerful defence and security committee attracted accusations of cronyism.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Additional reporting by Bate Felix in Dakar and Ange Aboa in Abidjan; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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