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Obama's half brother says he's out of jail

  • Story Highlights
  • George Obama says he's out of jail, that charges against him have been dropped
  • Kenyan police won't confirm George Obama's statements
  • George Obama was arrested in Kenya on suspicion of marijuana possession
  • Man is half-brother of U.S. President Barack Obama
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From David McKenzie
CNN
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NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- George Obama, the half brother of U.S. President Barack Obama, told CNN on Sunday that he was released from a Kenyan jail hours after his arrest on suspicion of marijuana possession.

George Obama was arrested in Kenya on suspicion of marijuana possession, according to police.

George Obama was arrested in Kenya on suspicion of marijuana possession, according to police.

Kenyan police did not confirm whether George Obama was still in their custody. Obama spoke to CNN from his cell phone, and a relative also said he was released.

He said he was arrested on Saturday and released later that day.

Obama was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis, known in Kenya as bhang, and resisting arrest, Inspector Augustine Mutembei said. He was held at Huruma police post in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, and scheduled to appear in court Monday, Mutembei said.

But Obama told CNN all charges against him were dropped. Police would not comment on that.

Speaking from behind bars on Saturday, Obama denied the allegations.

"They took me from my home," he said. "I don't know why they are charging me."

George Obama and the president barely know each other, though they have met. George Obama was one of the few people closely related to the president who did not attend the inauguration in Washington.

In his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama describes meeting George as a "painful affair." His trip to Kenya meant meeting family he had never known.

CNN tracked down George Obama in August 2008 and found him at a small house in Huruma, a Nairobi slum, where he lives with his mother's extended family. His birth certificate shows he is Barack Obama's half brother.

The two men share the same Kenyan father.

In the memoir, Barack Obama struggles to reconcile with his father after he left him and his mother when he was a child.

Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident when George was 6 months old. And like his half brother, George hardly knew his father.

George was his father's last child and had not been aware of his famous half brother until he rose to prominence in the Democratic primaries last year.

Unlike his grandmother in Kogela, in western Kenya, George Obama received little attention from the media until reports about him surfaced in August 2008.

The reports sprung from an Italian Vanity Fair article saying George Obama lived in a shack and was "earning less than a dollar a day."

The reports left George Obama angry.

"I was brought up well. I live well even now," he said. "The magazines, they have exaggerated everything.

"I think I kind of like it here. There are some challenges, but maybe it is just like where you come from, there are the same challenges," Obama said.

Obama, who is in his mid-20s, said at the time that he was learning to become a mechanic and was active in youth groups in Huruma. He said he tries to help the community as much as he can.

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