Fire consumes Niger's anti-corruption files

By REUTERS
January 3, 2012 20:20

 
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NIAMEY - Arsonists set fire to part of Niger's Justice Ministry on Tuesday, destroying files used in anti-corruption investigations including probes into a number of judges, the government said.

The government said the blaze had destroyed paper archives dating back decades as well as information gathered from a hotline that has led to the investigation of around 20 judges in the West African country. Some documents in digital form were saved.

The fire is a setback to a drive by President Mahamadou Issoufou to stamp out corruption.

Niger is ranked as the 54th most corrupt country in the world in Transparency International's latest corruption perceptions index.

Justice Minister Marou Amadou told a news conference the blaze, which raged for two hours, would not sway efforts to drive out corruption.

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