Mali's former president Moussa Traore, who has been serving a life prison sentence since being toppled in 1991, has returned from Algeria where he was receiving medical treatment, a well-informed source said Sunday.
Traore, 64, and his wife Mariam returned late Saturday aboard an Air Algeria flight from Algiers, the source said.
The former president was described as looking "much better", though he only took one step before being given a lift by an airport passenger vehicle.
Traore, his wife and brother-in-law Abraham Douah Cissiko were sentenced to death in January 1999 for "economic crimes" after being found guilty of embezzling 300 million CFA francs (480,000 dollars).
Traore, who ruled Mali for 23 years before being overthrown in a bloody 1991 coup, was first condemned to death in 1997 for "crimes of bloodshed".
That sentence was later commuted to a life prison term by Malian President Alpha Omar Konare who is against the death penalty.
According to sources in Bamako, the couple traveled on from Bamako airport to Markala, 270 kilometers (170 miles) from the capital, where they are being held.
They will stay there in a new building in more comfortable conditions, according to sources.
Mariam Traore had been in Algiers since May for unspecified "health reasons".
The former dictator himself was flown over there "on humanitarian grounds" in early August for hospital treatment for a back problem, according to medical and official sources.
The couple's return scotches -- for the time being at least -- rumors that the pair are preparing for an eventual "disguised exile" -- BAMAKO (AFP)
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