Court upholds life imprisonment for Chad's ex-president

Hissene Habre was sentenced to life imprisonment in Dakar

Court upholds life imprisonment for Chad's ex-president

World Bulletin / News Desk

Former Chadian president Hissene Habre Thursday has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Dakar after a lengthy court hearing that started in 2016.

Habre will have to serve his sentence in Senegal, where he took refuge after his fall from power at the end of 1990, or in another African Union country.

A small group of victims cheered outside the court as the verdict was handed down.

On May 30 of last year, the African extraordinary chambers in Dakar first handed down the sentenced of life imprisonment to Habre after finding him guilty of rape, sexual slavery and ordering mass killings during his time in power between 1982 and 1990.

The court also ordered him to pay over  22 billion CFA francs ($36.5 million) in compensation to victims.

In January, his legal team filed an appeal against his conviction for crimes against humanity.

Habre initially said he did not recognize the court's authority, and his defense lawyers refused to appear during the trial.

Souleymane Gengen, the president of the Association of Habre Victims, told Anadolu Agency that this verdict was a way to end this "sad chapter" of their lives to start all over again. 

Ruud Brody, a human rights lawyer who has been advocating for the victims, took to social media: “It took the victims 26 years to achieve justice. The court now needs to ensure a system is put in place so that Habre's assets can be located, seized and transferred to his victims to compensate them for what they have suffered," he said.

Habre was Chad’s seventh president, who ruled the central African country with an iron fist from 1982 to 1990 before 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 African Union -- 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.

Habre was absent in court when the final verdict was read out.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Nisan 2017, 20:05
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