Key defendant in Burkina’s Sankara trial pleads not guilty

(Photo: Wikipedia)
OUAGADOUGOU — General Gilbert Diendere, a key defendant in a trial over the 1987 assassination of Burkina Faso’s revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, pleaded not guilty at the landmark proceedings on Tuesday.اضافة اعلان

The trial, unfolding in a military court in the capital Ouagadougou, is being avidly followed in a country where Sankara’s brutal death 34 years ago casts a long shadow.

Diendere was allegedly an architect of a coup during which Sankara was killed and his former friend and comrade Blaise Compaore came to power.
The 61-year-old faces charges of harming state security, complicity in murder, concealing bodies, and witness tampering.

“I plead not guilty on all four counts,” Diendere said, dressed in military uniform.

Sankara and 12 of his colleagues were gunned down by a hit squad on October 15, 1987 as they attended a meeting of the ruling National Revolutionary Council (CNR).

After the coup, Diendere became right-hand man to Compaore, who ruled for 27 years before being deposed by a popular uprising in 2014 and fleeing to neighboring Ivory Coast. 

Compaore faces the same charges as Diendere, but is being tried in absentia.
He has long been suspected of ordering Sankara’s killing — an allegation he denies.

Diendere, in his evidence, supported Compaore’s version of events.

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