Former President Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Killing His Close Friend

Former President Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Killing His Close Friend

  • A former president of Burkina Faso, Blaise Compaoré, has been sentenced to life imprisonment over alleged murder
  • Compaoré was found guilty of playing a role in the killing of Thomas Sankara, his revolutionary predecessor in 1987
  • The convicted former president and Sankara were said to be close friends and had jointly seized power in 1983

Blaise Compaoré, Burkina Faso's former president, has been sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment over the alleged role he played in the assassination of his revolutionary predecessor, Thomas Sankara.

Sankara was gunned down along with 12 others during the 1987 coup d'état that brought Compaoré to power.

Blaise Compaoré, Burkina Faso's Former President, Life Imprisonment, Thomas Sankara's Murder
Burkina Faso's ex-President Blaise Compaore waits prior to meeting relatives of the victims of the Air Algerie crash at the Presidential Palace in Ouagadougou in 2014. Photo credit: SIA KAMBOU
Source: AFP

The two were close friends and had jointly seized power in 1983, according to BBC News Pidgin.

Many across regard Sankara as a hero because of his opposition to colonization and strict lifestyle.

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Compaoré had been living in exile in Ivory Coast since his removal from office following mass protests in 2014 and has acquired Ivorian nationality.

13 others found guilty, sentenced

Thirteen others were also found guilty, including Compaoré's security chief Haycinthe Kafando, who was accused of leading the hit squad that killed Sankara.

Kafando was also tried in absentia and received a life sentence. gathers that both of them have denied the charges. Compaoré had also previously denounced the trial as political sham.

Gilbert Diendéré, one of the commanders of the army during the 1987 coup and the main defendant who was present at the trial was also handed life sentence.

Diendéré was already serving 20-year sentence over a coup attempt in 2015.

The verdict ends the six-month trial which started 34 years after the death of Sankara.

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Eight other defendants received sentences ranging from three to 20 years while three defendants were freed.

Thomas Sankara ruled Burkina Faso from 1983 - 1987 before his friend and Minister of Defence, Blasie Compaore planed the coup that killed him.

Former French president found guilty of corruption, sentenced to prison

In another related report, Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s former president, was found guilty of corruption charges. He was sentenced to three years in jail, with two years suspended.

The court found him guilty of trying to bribe a judge and of influence-peddling.

He was reported to have forged a “corruption pact” with his lawyer and a senior magistrate.


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