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Three charged over plot to kill Benin president

More arrests are expected in connection with a plot to kill African Union chairman Thomas Boni Yayi.

Benin's President Boni Yayi addresses the 67th UN General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, 25 September, 2012. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - Benin prosecutors say three people plotted to kill African Union (AU) chairman and Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi by substituting his medicine with poison.

Charges of conspiracy and attempted murder have been laid against the president's doctor, a niece and a former commerce minister.

The poison plot was still being hatched when Yayi visited South Africa earlier in October, to open the Pan African Parliament in his capacity as rotating head of the AU.

Prosecutors believe Yayi's niece and doctor were offered US$2 million to poison him.

The pair has been remanded in custody, along with the former minister.

Authorities plan to arrest businessman Patrice Talon, a one-time ally of Yayi who has now fallen out with the president, in connection with the plot that started while he was on a state visit to Brussels last week.