Obama's Uncle Held for Drunken Driving

Washington, Aug 30 (IANS): A long lost uncle of President Barack Obama, arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, is being held without bail though he told police he planned to arrange bail through the White House.

Onyango Obama, 67, was arrested Aug 24 in Framingham, 32 km west of Boston, after police said he made a rolling stop through a stop sign and nearly caused a cruiser to strike his sport utility vehicle,various media reports said.

After being booked, he was asked whether he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail. "I think I will call the White House," he stated, according to a police report.

Onyango Obama, originally from Kenya, is the half-brother of the president's late father. He pleaded not guilty and was being held without bail on a detainer from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE said he had an earlier deportation or removal order. Such orders are generally for people living in the country illegally.

The White House had no comment. The president refers in his memoir to retracing his roots to an Uncle Omar, who matches Onyango Obama's background and has the same date of birth, Newsday said.

CNN said an administration official had confirmed that the arrested man is the half-brother of Obama's father. There was no other administration comment immediately available.

The news channel cited a federal law enforcement source as saying Onyango Obama was not legally in the United States and has been previously ordered removed from the country. His case is now going through the immigration process, the source said.


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