Trial against Chad ex-dictator Habre postponed to next year

2015-10-28 15:07
Hissene Habre (File, AFP)

Hissene Habre (File, AFP)

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Dakar - The war crimes trial against Chadian former president Hissene Habre was postponed to early next year in Senegal's capital Dakar on Wednesday to give witnesses more time to testify.

The trial, the first in which an African ex-president faces justice in sub-Saharan Africa, has been hearing testimonies from a number of Habre's victims.

No definite date has yet been set for the resumption of the trial.

Habre - who allegedly prevented all forms of opposition during his rule from 1982 to 1990 by using a system of arrest, torture and murder - has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court.

In July, when the trial was scheduled to start, Habre had to be dragged into the courtroom against his will.

He did not stand up or respond when called on by the judge. He also shouted the proceedings were a "farce."

Rights groups accuse the 72-year-old of being responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people during his time in power. He also stands accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture.

Habre's case is being heard by the Extraordinary African Chambers, a special criminal court set up by the African Union within the Senegalese court system.

After living in exile in Senegal for 22 years, Habre was detained in Dakar in July 2013, less than 72 hours after US President Barack Obama - during a visit to Senegal - expressed his support a trial.

Read more on:    hissene habre  |  chad  |  senegal  |  west africa

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