The trial of the alleged assassins of the former president of Burkina Faso Thomas Sankara resumed on Tuesday March 22 after several weeks of interruption, defense lawyers pleading for the release of their clients. The trial had been suspended since March 3, at the request of defense lawyers who questioned the constitutionality of the charge.“ attack on state security ».
On Friday, the Constitutional Council had rejected this request and the trial resumed on Tuesday with the defense pleadings. They began with that of M.and Issiaka Ouattara, lawyer for military doctor Alidou Diebré, prosecuted for “ false in public writing » for having established the death certificate of Thomas Sankara with the mention “ natural death ».
Evoking a prescription of the facts alleged against his client, the lawyer pleaded for release because, he specified, “ Mr. Diebré had no guilty intent ». Then M.and Kopiho Moumouny, lawyer for Kafando Hamadou, also prosecuted for “ false in public writing »for having produced another death certificate with the mention “ accidental death »also referred to the statute of limitations and pleaded for acquittal.
The two main defendants absent
Mand Mamadou Coulibaly, lawyer for a third defendant, Albert Belemliga, prosecuted for “ complicity in attack on state security », in turn requested the acquittal of his client. Mand Coulibaly argued that“ no witness implicated » his client, whose release is also requested by the military prosecutor.
Fourteen defendants are on trial in the trial of the assassins of Thomas Sankara and his companions in a coup d’etat in 1987. The two main ones, former President Blaise Compaoré who had come to power during the putsch before being driven out by the street in 2014, and Hyacinthe Kafando, commander of his guard during the coup, are absent.
At the beginning of February, the military prosecutor’s office demanded thirty years in prison against them for “ attack on state security », “ concealment of corpse » and “ complicity in assassination ». Twenty years in prison were required against General Gilbert Diendéré, one of the leaders of the army during the putsch of 1987 and the main defendant present. He is already serving a 20-year sentence for an attempted coup in 2015.
Started at the end of October, the hearings of this historic trial have been suspended several times, notably at the time of the January 24 coup during which Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba overthrew elected President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
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