Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Former Burkina Faso president found guilty of Sakara assassination

Former Burkina Faso president found guilty of Sakara assassination

Burkina Faso’s former President Blaise Compaore has been sentenced to life in prison for the 1987 assassination of his predecessor Thomas Sankara. The ruling is seen by many as a symbolic victory for a region that has been beset by instability in recent years.

The trial of Compaore and his co-defendants began last October – more than 34 years after Shankar’s death.

Of the 14 people who were tried, three were acquitted, while others received sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment.

The defendants were tried for assault on state security, concealment of a corpse, and involvement in murder.

During the six-month trial, hundreds of people testified about the conspiracy to remove Shankar and his team.

The late President Shankar spoke frequently against the colonial powers of Africa and was considered a revolutionary pan-African icon.

He and a dozen others were executed at a meeting of the National Revolutionary Council in the capital, Ouagadougou, in October 1987.

Kampore, who was a close friend of Shankar, has long been suspected of plotting the murders, though he has consistently denied the allegations. After Shankar’s assassination, he assumed the presidency and remained in power for 27 years. During that time, he took on an authoritarian role and suppressed inquiries into the circumstances of Shankara’s death.

Compaore was overthrown in 2014 and fled to Ivory Coast, where he has lived in exile ever since. The trial was held in his absence.

Compaore’s lawyers announced last week that they would boycott the trial. The proceedings were full of irregularities, he said, and Compaore should have benefited from immunity as a former head of state.

“Beyond the sense of relief is the hope that is reborn in Burkina Faso. It is this hope that is being reborn in Africa,” said Benevende Stanislas Shankar, lawyer for the Shankar family. “To know that no one is untouchable. All can be taken into account; The law is the same for all.”

The trial took place amid a backdrop of military takeovers across the region, including a January coup in Burkina Faso that briefly interrupted proceedings.

Anta Guise, an international criminal lawyer who works on the Shankar family’s legal team, said the current military rulers have allowed the trial to proceed, a victory in itself.

“The fact that the trial finally went through and a decision has been issued – it’s a victory,” she said. “After the coup in Ouagadougou, we weren’t sure the trial could go on until the end. It’s a win even in the case of saying that justice is free.”

Guise said he did not expect the Ivorian government to extradite Compaore to Burkina Faso to serve his sentence.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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