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French court puts off Benin Talon extradition request

media Benin's President Thomas Yayi Boni Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

A French appeals court has postponed a ruling on an extradition request from Benin, which wants to try businessman Patrice Talon for allegedly masterminding an assassination plot a year ago against Benin’s President Thomas Boni Yayi.

At a hearing on Wednesday the judge said a decision would be made on 4 December.

The French public prosecutor indicated he does not support Talon’s extradition, saying there is not enough information from the Benin government and questioning the fairness of the country's justice system.

Talon, who is accused of orchestrating Yayi's attempted assassination and economic crimes, has asked for political asylum in France.

Opposition politicians say the charges have been trumped up.

At the hearing in Paris the prosecutor pointed out that a Beninese judge who dismissed the charges against Talon earlier this year was detained when he tried to leave the country and placed under surveillance.

The French court will rule on the extradition request in December, taking into account the case against Talon as well as the justice system in Benin.

France refuses to extradite anyone to a country which has the death penalty, which is the case in Benin although it is setto be abolished soon.

Benin has also brought cases against Talon in Brussels for influence-peddling and in Geneva for money-laundering.

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