Burkina Faso's ex-president receives life sentence over predecessor's murder

Burkina Faso's ex-president receives life sentence over predecessor's murder

Blaise Compaore was sentenced in absentia for 35-year-old murder

By Aurore Bonny

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - A court in Burkina Faso on Wednesday sentenced the country's ex-president for the murder of his predecessor Thomas Sankara 35 years ago.

The military court in the capital Ouagadougou sentenced Blaise Compaore in absentia while he is in exile in Ivory Coast.

Compaore was not present during the 6-month trial during which the prosecution had previously requested 30 years of prison against him and Hyacinthe Kafando, the commander of his guard who is on the run since 2016.

The prosecution also requested 20 years against Gen. Gilbert Diendere, one of the army leaders during the 1987 putsch.

All were found guilty of the assassination of Sankara and his 12 companions on Oct. 15 of the same year during a meeting at the presidential palace.

Compaore, ousted from power in 2014, has always denied his involvement in the assassination of his predecessor. For his lawyers, it is "a sham trial."

This verdict was long awaited by pan-Africanists for whom Sankara represents the legendary figure of the African revolution and anti-imperialist fight.

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