Defence in Burkina Faso failed coup trial slams lack of evidence

2018-07-02 06:13

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

Defence lawyers on Saturday told a court that the prosecution had failed to provide evidence for the murder charges faced by their clients in a landmark trial over a failed 2015 coup in Burkina Faso.

"The prosecution has not provided any evidence that can establish a link between the murders, the shots and the wounds and our clients," said Issaka Badini, representing Staff Sergeant Lawoko Mohamed Zerbo, the first of 84 defendants to be questioned by the court in the capital Ouagadougou.

"The prosecution has no evidence... and tries to reclassify the facts as a crime against humanity," added Olivier Yelcouni, another defence lawyer.

The 84 defendants are on trial over the September 2015 attempt to overthrow the transitional government which took power after President Blaise Compaore was ousted a year earlier.

Behind the coup was an elite unit of presidential guards loyal to Compaore, who took the country's leaders hostage before being thwarted by street protesters backed by the army, which attacked the plotters' barracks.

Fourteen people died and 270 were injured in the unrest.

The defendants are being tried on a range of charges including treason, undermining state security and murder in a case seen as a test for the judiciary in the West African country.

Among them are two generals thought to be the ringleaders: Gilbert Diendere and Djibrill Bassole, who served as foreign minister under Compaore.

During Saturday's hearing, the prosecutor's office acknowledged the absence of ballistics analysis in the case, but said a doctor had produced a forensic report determining that 13 people had been shot dead and 42 wounded.

Only a ballistics analysis, however, would have "clearly been able to determine the trajectory of the bullets, their nature and the type of weapon used", said Babou Bama, yet another defence lawyer.

The trial opened on February 27, only to be suspended just hours later when the defence team walked out in protest over the legality of the military court, which is made up of two professional magistrates and three soldiers sitting as assessors.

The case was adjourned until on Monday.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    burkina faso  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

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.