Final verdict for Chad's Habre on war crimes appeal

2017-04-27 11:12
(File : AFP)

(File : AFP) (Patrick Hertzog, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - Chad's former president Hissene Habre will learn on Thursday if his lawyers' appeal against sentences for war crimes, crimes against humanity and rape have been successful, following his landmark conviction by a special court last year.

The Extraordinary African Chambers, a body created by Senegal and the African Union (AU), sentenced Habre last May to life behind bars, an unprecedented ruling seen as a blow to the impunity long enjoyed by repressive rulers on the continent.

In July, the court further ruled that Habre should give up to $33,000 to each victim of abuses committed during his 1982-1990 rule, as well as to their relatives.

The appeal will began at 10:00 GMT in Dakar, and as of Wednesday it was unclear whether Habre himself would appear.

The former desert warrior refuses to recognise the court's authority, so the appeal was mounted on his behalf by his court-appointed lawyers.

Habre's conviction brought closure for relatives of up to 40 000 people killed and many more kidnapped, raped or tortured during his time as president.

Reed Brody, a US-based lawyer who has worked closely with Habre's victims to secure the conviction, said he would be "astonished and devastated if the conviction were overturned".

"It doesn't seem possible given the weight of the evidence and the fairness of the procedure," he said in an interview with AFP, describing Habre's charge sheet as "among the most well-documented crimes in Africa".

If his conviction is upheld, Habre will serve his sentence in Senegal or in another AU country.

The trial set a global precedent as the first time a country had prosecuted the former leader of another nation for rights abuses, and was seen as a landmark example of African rights abuses being tried on the continent.

One of Habre's lawyers, who asked not to be named, said he was "confident" of his team's chances, lashing out at what he termed "Western sponsors" of the trial.

Souleymane Guengueng, who heads a Habre victims' association, said he was "not at all worried," adding that if justice was done "the life sentence of Hissene Habre will be upheld."

Habre fled to Senegal after his 1990 ouster by Chad's current President Idriss Deby, and for more than 20 years lived freely in an upmarket Dakar suburb with his wife and children.

Read more on:    au  |  hissene habre  |  idriss deby  |  senegal  |  chad  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.