Murder Trial of Former Burkina Faso President, Compaore, Set for October 11

Murder Trial of Former Burkina Faso President Compaore Set for October 11 (News Central TV)

A statement from military prosecutors in Burkina Faso has stated that Burkina Faso’s former president, Blaise Compaore will be tried from October 11 for the murder of Thomas Sankara who he ousted in a 1987 coup.

Compaore and 12 others are facing charges of attacking state security, complicity in murder, and complicity in the concealment of corpses.

Prosecutors say proceedings from the military tribunal will be held in public in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Capitaine Thomas Sankara was killed in October 1987 in a coup d’etat in which President Blaise Compaoré, his former comrade-in-arms, took power. In 1983, Compaoré helped his boyhood friend seize power from then President Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo. (Photo by ALEXANDER JOE / AFP)

One of those accused alongside Compaore is General Gilbert Diendere, who is already serving a 20-year sentence in Burkina Faso for masterminding a plot in 2015 against the West African country’s transitional government.

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Diendere was Compaore’s former right-hand man and a former head of the elite Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) at the time of the coup. He was alleged to have headed the unit that killed Sankara.

Sankara took power in a coup in 1983, but was killed on October 15, 1987 at the age of 37, in a coup led by Compaore.

Compaore was himself ousted in 2014 by a popular uprising after 27 years in power. Although Compaore has always denied ordering Sankara’s murder, the case was however reopened in 2015 with the new transitional government and a warrant was issued for his arrest in March 2016.

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Compaore, Now 70, currently lives in Ivory Coast, where he fled after being ousted and where he has since taken citizenship. Unless he chooses to present himself for trial, he will be judged in absentia.

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