Togo coup suspects claim torture

2011-09-08 10:53

Lome - Several suspects standing trial over an alleged 2009 coup plot in Togo on Wednesday told a court they were tortured during their detention by the country's state security agency.

Two half-brothers of Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe and 30 others are accused of attempted violation of state security, criminal conspiracy and rebellion, among others, and face up to life in prison.

The case opened on September 01, but the actual trial started on Tuesday at the Supreme Court in the small west African nation of some 6.7 million people.

"I was handcuffed, chained hand and foot, for five days. Then I had my hands tied to a bar and suspended for three days," Kossi Adjinon, an army captain, said on Wednesday.

"I was beaten and tortured for several days," he added, claiming to be "a survivor of hell."

A former police chief, Olivier Amah, said he was kept in solitary confinement for three months and denied medical services even as he suffers from hypertension.

"I was tortured. I was treated in inhuman and degrading conditions," said Bagoudadi Gnassingbe, another army captain and one of three cousins of the president on trial.

The defence which had on Tuesday walked out of the court, but ended the boycott on Wednesday, asked the court to summon the head of the state security agency over the torture claims.

The president's half brother Kpatcha Gnassingbe, 41, is the main suspect and accused of being the mastermind of the plot targeting his half-brother.

Both men are among the numerous sons of former strongman Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled the country for 38 years until his death in 2005.

Bloody gunfight

A second half-brother, Essolizam Gnassingbe, as well as the ex-head of the armed forces, Assani Tidjani, are also among the accused.

Six defence lawyers walked out of the courtroom on Tuesday, protesting the judge's refusal to postpone the case and arguing that Kpatcha, a lawmaker at the time of his arrest, was covered by parliamentary immunity.

Eleven suspects that have so far testified, have pleaded not guilty.

Details of the alleged plot have remained unclear. At the time it was claimed that the coup was meant to be staged while the president was away on a trip to China.

The country's elite troops raided Kpatcha's house in an operation that led to a bloody gunfight.

Questions have arisen as to whether there in fact was a coup plot, with some analysts arguing that the rivalry between the president and Kpatcha was strong and intensifying at the time.

Some observers say Kpatcha was ambitious and there was speculation that he was eyeing the presidency in 2010.

Faure Gnassingbe was installed in the presidency by the army in 2005 shortly after the announcement of the death of his father, who had been a general. He has since won elections in 2005 and 2010.


Read more on:    faure gnassingbe  |  togo  |  west africa

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Zille: Only DA can challenge ANC in F State

The DA is the only party that can challenge the ANC in the Free State, opposition party leader Helen Zille says.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Monday Melkbosstrand - 16:47 PM
    Road name: R27 West Coast Road Southbound
    DELAYS approaching the Melkbos turning due to high volumes
  • Monday Camps Bay - 16:14 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Northbound
    HEAVY TRAFFIC through Camps Bay
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.