13/08/2022

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Sankara trial suspended after defense petitions the Constitutional Council

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The Sankara trial was suspended yet again on Thursday, March 3. Some of the defendants’ lawyers asked for charges of crime against national security be dropped citing the Constitutional Council’s approval of Lt Col Damiba as President after he led a coup.

As the trial of pan Africanist icon Thomas Sankara resumed on Thursday, a petition by some of the defendent’s lawyers has caused the hearing to be suspended again.

Citing the Constitutional Council’s approval of the military takeover by Colonel Damiba, the lawyers asked for the crime against national security charges to be dropped on the basis of an exception of unconstitutionality.

The defense argued clients could not be accused of organizing a coup and therefore could not be prosecuted for attacking national security since the Constitutional Council formally determined that Damiba was president, head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces after his military takeover.

The trial of 14 men, including the former president, accused in the assassination of Burkina Faso’s leader Thomas Sankara -34 years ago- started in October. It was suspended on multiple occasions following the coup of January 24.

A junta which later called itself the Patriotic Movement for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR) deposed former president Roch Marc Christian Kabore. The leader of the junta Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, a regional commander in the jihadist-torn east, was later on sworn in.

The Constitutional Council now has to address the argument.