Chad's ex-president sentenced to life for war crimes

Chad's ex-president sentenced to life for war crimes

Habre is believed to be responsible for deaths of 40,000 people between 1982 and 1990

DAKAR, Senegal (AA) – Chad’s former President Hissene Habre has been handed down life imprisonment for "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes" committed during his time in office between 1982 and 1990.

A special court, backed by the African Union, announced the sentence in the Senegalese capital Dakar Monday.

During the course of his trial, Habre had repeatedly refused to accept the legitimacy of the Extraordinary African Chambers, the special court set up to try the former Chadian dictator.

During his first court hearing on July 20, 2015, Habre had shouted: "This isn’t a trial; it’s a farce!" going on to claim that he was the victim of "neocolonialism."

The court also found him guilty of rape, torture and sexual slavery.

Hundreds of people, including Habre's supporters and victims of his crimes had attended the trial.

Habre was Chad’s seventh president, who ruled the central African country with an iron fist from 1982 to 1990 being ousted by Idriss Deby, Chad’s current president.

In the quarter-century since his overthrow, Habre has lived in exile in Senegal.

Following 19 months of investigations, the Senegalese authorities -- working in tandem with the AU – indicted Habre in mid-2013 for war crimes and crimes against humanity, placing him under provisional detention.

The former military ruler had overthrown President Goukouni Oueddei in 1982.

According to Chadian and international rights groups, Habre is responsible for the deaths of around 40,000 people.

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