Press Release – ICJS – 35th Commemoration of The Assassination of Thomas Sankara and His Companions

Press Release

35th Commemoration of The Assassination of Thomas Sankara and His Companions

The year 2022 was marked by many events in Burkina Faso. The international part of the trial was separated and a trial under military jurisdiction took place. On 23 January 2022, in the midst of the trial for the assassination of Thomas Sankara, a coup d’état was staged by the Mouvement patriotique pour la sauvegarde et la restauration (Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration), led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba. The regime denounced the inertia of the Kaboré government against terrorism and announced its takeover. Shortly afterwards, the constitution was suspended and then restored, with exceptional measures.

The trial in the Sankara case resumed and the main defendants were sentenced to heavy penalties on 6 April 2022. Among them, President Compaoré, sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for “attack on state security” and “complicity in murder”.

But negotiations with Abidjan had been going on for some time. A section of the political class argues that the former Compaoré regime, having made pacts with the jihadists, could restore peace.The return of the former president is called for and in the name of reconciliation, between parties that are not stated. A summit of the country’s former heads of state is then orchestrated by the Damiba regime. This is how Blaise Compaoré was received on 7 July 2022 with impunity. The red carpet was rolled out for him rather than arresting him, even though the summit failed. On 26 July, with a semblance of contrition, Compaoré asked for forgiveness in the press, without contacting the families and without acknowledging his heinous crimes, and above all without facing justice. The International Campaign for Justice for Sankara considered this failure of justice and the continuation of impunity unacceptable.

On 30 September members of the Patriotic Movement for the Safeguard and Restoration overthrew their leader and installed Captain Ibrahima Traoré. Once appointed president, he convened a national conference to be held on 14 and 15 October 2022 to allow a second transitional charter. This second day coincides with the date of the assassination of President Sankara and his colleagues.

The family of President Sankara has been waiting for 35 years for justice to be done, for the verdict to be carried out and for the international part of the trial to be investigated. The ICJS demands from the French, Ivorian and American authorities the disclosure of all archival documents relating to President Sankara. We demand a dignified national funeral in accordance with the wishes of the families. Moreover, there can be no reconciliation without truth and respect for the decisions of justice. The attempts at amnesty by the former regime’s caciques will not be accepted either by the Burkinabe or by pan-Africans throughout the world.

The assassination of President Sankara and the end of his revolution have nothing to do with the terrorist aggressions that affect the Sahel and Burkina. On this issue, the ICJS urges internationalists and pan-Africans around the world to show solidarity with the resistance of the Burkinabe people.

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Press release 28 July 2022 – On President Compaoré’s visit to Burkina Faso and his request for a pardon

Press release 28 July 2022

ICSJ
International Campaign Justice for Sankara

On President Compaoré's visit to Burkina Faso and his request for a pardon

On 23 January 2022, in the midst of the trial of Thomas Sankara’s assassination, a coup d’état took place, while the country was besieged by jihadist hordes. On 24 January 2022, a Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, denounced the Kaboré government’s inertia against terrorism and announced its takeover. Shortly afterwards, the constitution was suspended and then restored, with exceptional measures.

Nevertheless, the trial resumed and the main defendants were convicted on 6 April. Among them was President Compaoré, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for “attack on state security” and “complicity in murder”.

Already during the trial, rumours of negotiations with Abidjan were confirmed. A section of the political class argues that the former Compaoré regime, having made pacts with the jihadists, could restore peace. The return of the former president is called for and in the name of reconciliation, between parties that are not clearly stated.  A summit of the country’s former heads of state was then orchestrated by the new regime.

This is how Blaise Compaoré was received on 7 July 2022 with impunity. The red carpet was rolled out for him rather than arresting him, even though the summit failed.

On 26 July, with a semblance of contrition, he asked for forgiveness in the press, without contacting the families and without acknowledging his crime and the odious assassinations he committed, and above all without facing justice.

The family of President Sankara has been waiting for 35 years for justice to be done.  Since  April 6, 2022, they have been waiting for the verdict rendered by independent judges after an exemplary trial to be executed.  There can be no reconciliation without truth and respect for justice.  The contempt shown by the new regime and by Blaise Compaoré for the verdict of the military tribunal, delivered in the name of the Burkinabe people, is shocking. The new authorities’ desire for amnesty, echoing the caciques of the old regime, will not be accepted either by the Burkinabe or by pan-Africans around the world.

The assassination of President Sankara and the end of his revolution have nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on the Sahel and Burkina. In line with the recent press release of the lawyers of the collective, the International Campaign Justice for Sankara considers this failure of justice and the continuation of impunity unacceptable.

ICJS Press Release and Press Conference of April 6, 2022

ICJS press release followed by the opening statement to the
PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE LAWYERS OF THE FAMILY OF PRESIDENT THOMAS SANKARA
FOLLOWING THE JUDGEMENT OF APRIL 6, 2022 BY THE JUDGEMENT CHAMBER OF THE MILITARY COURT OF OUAGADOUGOU

OUAGADOUGOU, 07 APRIL 2022

The International Campaign for Justice for Sankara (ICJS), coordinated since 1997 by GRILA (Research and Initiative Group for the Liberation of Africa), takes note of the decision pronounced by the Honourable Judge Urbain Meda of the Military Court of Ouagadougou, on 6 April 2022. This judgment is the first of its kind in the history of the continent, and marks a precedent in the history of law. For most of the past 25 years, ICJS lawyers have been trying to get the law heard against the state, and then before a military court. They have always stood up against impunity. ICJS is grateful for all the pan-African and international mobilisation that has assisted it over the past 25 years. It salutes the memory of the victims and of all those who paid with their lives or gave their blood to bring this historic day to pass.

Thanks to the courageous mobilization of the people that drove out the Françafrique regime of Compaoré, the Honourable Judge Yameogo has re-launched the proceedings, in accordance with Burkinabe law and the rights obtained for the widow Sankara and her children before the UN Human Rights Committee in 2006.

Between March 6, 2015 and October 7, 2020, there was a successful inquiry in several stages and the trial reopened on October 11, 2021. Since France was slow to provide declassified documents, which it unfortunately only finally provided in a selective and incomplete manner, the trial resumed, disjointed from its international component.

Having refused our request to film and record its hearings for posterity, the court nevertheless held, in a specially requisitioned venue, a trial that will go down as a landmark in the legal history of Burkina Faso and Africa. The normal progress of the trial was disrupted for a time by a coup d’état, which put the constitutional legitimacy of the process in question. The permanence of the functions of the state allowed the trial to resume, and in full knowledge of the facts, the pleadings of the civil parties and the defense as well as dozens of witnesses were heard. Some defendants were convicted and others acquitted, as described in the attached opening statement. Large parts of the truth about the assassination of President Sankara and his comrades were revealed, despite the silence and denials of several of the accused. Whether they were running away or hiding, the last of the masterminds and assassins have seen their subterfuges publicly revealed and they are now facing their own conscience and history. We call on Côte d’Ivoire and France to hand over the culprits and to participate in the elucidation that would bring closure to this case.

The ICJS salutes the fighting spirit and courage of Mariam Sankara, the dignity of her family and the tireless work carried out by three teams of lawyers over the past 25 years. It has recommended vigilance and firmness for the respect of justice and a full investigation into the international plot. The ICJS salutes the mobilization of pan-Africanists and internationalists who supported it in achieving this result. The civil parties will appear in court on 13 April. ICJS hopes that peace and serenity will prevail now that the guilty parties have been convicted. It expects that the people of Burkina, confronted with jihadism and destabilization, will become reconciled and will recover their sovereignty as well as the momentum that has made them worthy of their title of the land of the upright people.

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

Ladies and Gentlemen
Fellow journalists

On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to acknowledge the work of the national and international press, which has been often at our side and at the side of the families of President Thomas SANKARA and his companions over the past twenty-five (25) years of legal proceedings. These proceedings followed the complaint of the widow Mariam SANKARA and her children Auguste and Philippe lodged on 29 September 1997 and the order of the examining Dean of magistrates dated 9 October 1997.

Allow me also to salute all the efforts of GRILA and CIJS, International Campaign for Justice for Thomas SANKARA and Professor Aziz FALL as well as the efforts of all those who, in the shadows as well as in broad daylight, have fought the same battle as we have for transparency and truth in the wake of the ignoble and odious assassination of President Thomas SANKARA and of 12 of his companions, which was followed by the massacre of many others. These included those tortured in Koudougou, wounded or forced into exile and others who suffered the consequences of the attack on 15 October 1987.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the media,

The lawyer is an auxiliary of justice who contributes to upholding the truth. The mission of the lawyer is not to trick the law, nor to deceive judges or try to mislead them. The lawyers’ mission is to defend their client’s interests to the best of their ability in accordance with the law, their ethics and their oath.

This is why we are unwavering in our commitment to a fair trial in which the rights of the defence, the presumption of innocence and the principle of adversarial proceedings are respected, which are always, whether one is a plaintiff or a defendant, an indisputable prerequisite of our profession, in order that the law is carried out in all its rigour, whatever the jurisdiction happens to be.

By definition the trial is the place where the rules and forms lead to a valid decision by the judge from the moment of referral. This is why we willingly lent ourselves to this unusually long exercise. Six months of trial is a long time, just as the wait to reach a trial was long. But to paraphrase our late colleague Dieudonné Nkounkou, no matter how long the night is, the day will eventually come.

Also, drawing the lessons of President Thomas SANKARA who said that “Where discouragement falls, there rises the victory of the persevering”. We have persevered in spite of adversity and multiple difficulties for twenty-five (25) years, during which time we have conducted all kinds of proceedings both at national and international level, before both civil and military courts.

Steadfastly, simply guided by our mission to obtain the truth and nothing but the truth, the trial against Blaise COMPAORE, known as Jubal, and others, prosecuted for attacks on state security, assassinations, complicity in assassinations, mishandling of corpses, and forgery of public documents, finally saw the light of day, despite all the vicissitudes and twists and turns that one can imagine. The trial, which finally opened on 11 October 2021, reached its epilogue on 6 April 2022 with the following decision, rendered after almost six (6) years of investigation (from 6 March 2015 to 7 October 2020, i.e. five (05) years and seven (07) months) and six (06) months of pleadings:

“Ruling publicly, in absentia with regard to COMPAORE Blaise and KAFANDO Tousma Yacinthe, and against BELEMLILGA Albert Pascal Sibidi, DEME Djakalia, DIEBRE Alidou, Jean Christophe DIENDERE Gilbert, KAFANDO Hamado, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysée, OUEDRAOGO Nabonssouindé, OUEDRAOGO Tibo, PALM Mori Aldiouma Jean-Pierre, SAWADOGO Idrissa, TONDE Ninda dit Pascal and TRAORE Bossobè, in criminal matters and at first instance:

Declares, the public action extinguished because of prescription; in the case of forgery of public documents reproached to the accused DIEBRE Alidou Jean-Christophe, KAFANDO Hamado and the facts of concealment of corpses reproached to the accused COMPAORE Blaise and DIENDERE Gilbert,

Acquits the accused TRAORE Bossobè of the charges of complicity in an attack on State security and complicity in murder for unproven offences;

Acquits the accused DIENDERE Gilbert of the charge of subordination of a witness for an offence not established;

Declares the accused TONDE Ninda, known as Pascal, alias Mang-Naaba, guilty of the charge of subordination of a witness

Declares the accused BELEMLILGA Albert Pascal Sibidi, DEME Djakalia, OUEDRAOGO Tibo, PALM Mori Aldiouma Jean-Pierre, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysée, SAWADOGO Idrissa and OUEDRAOGO Nabonssouindé, guilty of the acts of complicity in the attack on State security for which they are accused;

Declares the accused KAFANDO Tousma Yacinthe, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysée, SAWADOGO Idrissa and OUEDRAOGO Nabonssouindé, guilty of the acts of murder with which they are charged;

Declares the accused COMPAORE Blaise, DIENDERE Gilbert and KAFANDO Tousma Yacinthe guilty of the acts of attack on State security for which they are accused;

Declares the accused COMPAORE Blaise and DIENDERE Gilbert, guilty of the acts of complicity in murder for which they are accused;

As a consequence, condemns:

  • BELEMLILGA Albert Pascal Sibidi and DEME Djakalia to five (05) years’ imprisonment, each suspended;
  • TONDE Ninda dit Pascal alias Mang-Naaba to three (03) years imprisonment;
  • OUEDRAOGO Tibo and PALM Mori Aldiouma Jean-Pierre to ten (10) years imprisonment each;
  • ILBOUDO Yamba Elysée to eleven (11) years’ imprisonment;
  • SAWADOGO Idrissa and OUEDRAOGO Nabonssouindé each to twenty (20) years imprisonment;
  • COMPAORE Blaise, DIENDERE Gilbert and KAFANDO Tousma Yacinthe each to life imprisonment;


Orders the forfeiture of all titles or decorations of all the convicted defendants;

Declares that the present judgement is an order of detention for the defendants sentenced to a custodial sentence not covered by pre-trial detention in accordance with the provisions of Article 315-14 of Law N°040-2019/AN of 29 May 2019 on the Code of Criminal Procedure;

Issues, a warrant of detention against TONDE Ninda dit Pascal alias Mang-Naaba in accordance with the provisions of Article 315-14 of Law N°040-2019/AN of 29 May 2019 on the Code of Criminal Procedure;

Declares that the arrest warrants issued against COMPAORE Blaise and KAFANDO Tousma Yacinthe are maintained in accordance with the provisions of Article 261-128 paragraph 4 of Law N°040-2019/AN of 29 May 2019 of the Code of Criminal Procedure;

The President warned the parties that they had a non-negotiable period of fifteen (15) clear days from the delivery of this judgment to appeal, in accordance with the provisions of Article 317-9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure;
Orders the costs to be borne by the convicted defendants».

Indeed, the chamber of judgement of the Military Tribunal of Ouagadougou has just inscribed in gold letters, for posterity, the name of Judge Urbain MEDA and that of all the members of the chamber in the judicial history of Burkina Faso. They have courageously spoken the law and rendered justice in the name of the Burkinabe people.

This decision, if it is a victory, is firstly due to the merit of our main client, Mrs Mariam SANKARA, whose courage, bravery and self-sacrifice deserve to be saluted. Secondly, it is the fruit of the struggle of all women and men who cherish justice, truth, peace and freedom as cardinal values of human dignity.

Finally, this victory must be dedicated to the media, whose role was decisive in the search for and the manifestation of the truth around the assassination of President Thomas SANKARA and his companions.

Allow me then, on behalf of the families and my colleagues, to express to all the media our deep gratitude for this constant support in the name of freedom and justice.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the media,

On the basis of the above, we, the lawyers for the civil party, acting on behalf of Mariam SANKARA, her children and the family of Thomas SANKARA, take note of the decision handed down on 6 April 2022 by the Trial Chamber of the Ouagadougou Military Court.

We are pleased with the results we have achieved thanks to the methodical teamwork and commitment of the lawyers, who saw in the Thomas SANKARA trial the defense of a cause beyond family interests: that of African freedom and the fight against impunity.

It is true that there are still many grey areas, particularly in terms of international complicity. We will continue our quest for truth on this subject by immediately reactivating the Ouagadougou Military Tribunal, in order to find out the status of the investigations on the international aspect left to the investigation by the disjunction pronounced by Judge Yaméogo more than a year ago.
It is also true that the authors and masterminds of these crimes, Blaise COMPAORE and Yacinthe KAFANDO, may have fled their country in an attempt to evade justice, but the essential aspiration of the Burkinabe and African people and of public opinion in general has been achieved in the sense that the truth has come to light.

“No matter how long the night is, the day will eventually come.”
It is therefore without prejudice to the possible appeals of the defendants that we appreciate this decision, strictly from the point of view of the law, that has been stated and the justice that has been rendered in a fair trial that complies with international standards. We also take note of the sanctions that have been pronounced against some of the accused, which are commensurate with the gravity of the crimes they committed.

I thank you.

Me Bénéwende Sankara
On behalf of the Collective of Lawyers of the International Campaign Justice for Sankara

** Translated from the French

Press Release January, 26 2022

International Campaign Justice for Sankara

Press Release January 26, 2022

On Monday, January 24, 2022, closing arguments were to be heard in the trial of Sankara and his twelve murdered companions. Our lawyers’ collective was hard at work to finalize this effort that began a quarter of a century ago. However, a coup d’état occurred that day and the president of the court postponed appearances until the following day, Tuesday, January 25. The President of the Court then explained to the parties that due to reasons beyond his control, the session was suspended and he would return to the parties in due course.

Following the overthrow of the Compaoré regime, the new political regime had allowed the case to proceed. The trial took place before the Chamber of First Instance of the Military Tribunal of Ouagadougou, relocated to the Banquet Hall of OUAGA 2000. Following Judgment No. 06 of April 13, 2021, several persons were indicted and heard, whenever possible: in absentia KAFANDO Hyacinthe for attack on state security and murder; in absentia COMPAORE Blaise for concealment of bodies attack on state security, complicity in murder; DIENDERE Gilbert for complicity in murder, attack on state security, witness tampering, concealment of bodies; OUEDRAOGO Nabonswende, SAWAWADOGO Idrissa, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysee, OUEDRAOGO Tibo, BELEMLILGA Albert, Pascal Sibidi, DEME Djakalia, PALM Mori Aldjouma Jean-Pierre, TRAORE Bossobe, for complicity in an attack on state security; DIEBRE Alidou Jean Christophe, KAFANDO Amado for forgery and TONDE Ninda dit Pascal for subornation of witness; TRAORE Bossobe for complicity in murder; OUEDRAOGO Nabonswende, SAWAWADOGO Idrissa, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysée, for murder. Dozens of witnesses also appeared in person or remotely and the minutes of the deceased were read.

The trial, which the authorities refused to record, has so far been conducted in satisfactory conditions.

The ICJS insists that the trial should proceed and expects the new authorities to allow, in the best possible conditions, a full and fair completion of this historic trial. The ICJS also expects that the judge in charge of the disjunction on the international aspect could carry out his investigation and complete his case. This would allow for truth and justice to finally served and for a possible reconciliation.

The people of Burkina Faso and the whole of Africa deserve this opportunity to end this chapter of impunity.

Press release October 15, 2021 and press conference

International Campaign Justice for Sankara

Press release October 15, 2021 and press conference

On October 11, 2021, the trial in the case of President Thomas Sankara and twelve of his comrades assassinated on October 15, 1987 opened in Ouagadougou. The  International Campaign Justice for Sankara is now in its 25th year seeking justice. During these years, against Burkina Faso as a state party instrumentalized by the Françafrique regime, the ICJS has exhausted all the remedies before the Burkinabe courts. The campaign even took its fight to the UN Human Rights Committee, setting an international precedent against impunity with a decision from the Committee in 2006.

With the popular overthrow of the Compaoré regime, a new political regime allowed the case to finally be investigated. The trial began before the Trial Chamber of the Military Tribunal of Ouagadougou (TMO), relocated to the Banquet Hall of OUAGA 2000. By order of the Indictment Chamber No. 06 of April 13, 2021, 14 defendants will be tried: KAFANDO Hyacinthe for attack on state security and murder (in absentia for lack of appearance); COMPAORE Blaise for concealment of corpses, attack on state security, complicity in murder (in absentia for lack of appearance); DIENDERE Gilbert for complicity in murder, attack on state security, subornation of witness, concealment of corpses; OUEDRAOGO Nabonswende, SAWAWADOGO Idrissa, ILBOUDO YambaElysee, OUEDRAOGO Tibo, BELEMLILGA Albert, Pascal Sibidi, DEME Djakalia, PALM Mori Aldjouma Jean-Pierre, TRAORE Bossobe, for complicity in an attack on state security; TRAORE Bossobe for complicity in murder; OUEDRAOGO Nabonswende, SA WA WADOGO Idrissa, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysée, for murder. DIEBRE Alidou Jean Christophe, KAFANDO Amado for forgery of a public document and TONDE Nindadit Pascal for subornation of a witness.

During the investigation, an extradition warrant was issued against Hyacinthe Kafando and against President Blaise Compaoré, who was exiled to Côte d’Ivoire. Both still refuse to appear at the trial.

France has selectively declassified and submitted three sets of documents related to this case. The Military Prosecutor’s Office has also retained a list of 67 witnesses and two experts, in addition to the witnesses of the civil parties. The ICJS has also summoned Burkina Faso as a liable party under the principle of the continuity of the State.

At the beginning of the hearing on October 11, 2021, after the composition of the Chamber had been established the case was postponed until October 25 at the request of defense attorneys who had recently been appointed for certain defendants and claimed they needed more time to pore through the extensive documentation on file.

The Military Tribunal refused to allow the entire trial to be recorded for the sake of history and archives of the Military Tribunal. However, the Military Prosecutor’s Office, questioned at the hearing by the Civil Parties, emphasized that the Military Tribunal of Ouagadougou has its own audiovisual service, and guarantees the security of these archives. The Court cited Article 43 of the Code of Military Justice, which prohibits “the reproduction of debates relating to crimes and offenses against the internal and external security of the State. This article, combined with the provisions of article 314-5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, allows recordings to be made for purposes other than broadcasting.

The civil parties and all those who continue to demand at the national and international level for this trial to take place oppose this decision that prevents the safeguarding of an important part of Burkina’s history for future generations. It is regrettable that the upcoming debates, which should be an example of justice rendered with solemnity and respect for the rules of law and a fair trial will not be preserved for posterity.

Various political maneuvers, on the margin of this trial, take advantage of the situation in the country, subject to recurrent attacks by jihadist cells, to invoke immunity and amnesty for some of the accused or to evoke national reconciliation. The ICJS continues to advocate that due process and justice be served impartially and independently of any political pressure.

Our lawyers and comrades will continue the marathon work of the ICJS until justice for Thomas Sankara and his comrades is achieved. The ICJS counts on the support of the people of Burkina Faso and Pan-African people around the world to insist that truth and justice are achieved towards reconciliation.

Press conference of the collective of lawyers of the ICJS

 will take place in the presence of Mrs. Mariam Sankara

On October 15 at 1pm, at the Thomas Sankara University, Commune of Saaba (after the toll of the RN4 road to Fada, telephone of the university 226 50 36 99 60)

Spokepersons  for the ICJS lawyers’ collective: Me Anta Guissé, anta.guisse@wanadoo.fr  Me Prosper Farama maitrefarama@yahoo.fr

Coordinator of the ICJS, Aziz Salmone Fall azizsalmonefall@gmail.com +15142447873

 

 

ICJS – Press Release of October 11, 2021 – Opening of the Trial – Sankara Case

International Campaign Justice for Sankara

Press Release of October 11, 2021 – Opening of the Trial – Sankara Case

On 11 October 2021 the trial in the case of President Thomas Sankara and twelve of his unfortunate comrades, assassinated on 15 October 1987 in the Conseil de I’Entente, opens in Ouagadougou. The International Justice for Sankara Campaign is in its 25th year. During these years, it has exhausted all the remedies available to it in the Burkinabe courts against the state party of Burkina Faso, which was instrumentalized by the Françafrique regime, and then had to resort to the UN Human Rights Committee. It set an international precedent against impunity in 2006.
With the overthrow of the Compaoré regime, a new political regime has allowed the case to be investigated. The trial is taking place before the Chamber of First Instance of the Military Tribunal of Ouagadougou, relocated to the Banquet Hall of OUAGA 2000. Following the judgment N° 06 of April 13, 2021, several persons were indicted and will be tried there: in absentia KAFANDO Hyacinthe for attack on State security and murder; in absentia COMPAORE Blaise for concealment of a corpse, attack on State security, complicity in murder; DIENDERE Gilbert for complicity in murder, attack on State security, subornation of witness, concealment of a corpse; OUEDRAOGO Nabonswende, SAWAWADOGO Idrissa, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysee, OUEDRAOGO Tibo, BELEMLILGA Albert, Pascal Sibidi, DEME Djakalia, PALM Mori Aldjouma Jean-Pierre, TRAORE Bossobe, for complicity in an attack on State security; DIEBRE Alidou Jean Christophe, KAFANDO Amado for forgery of a public document and TONDE Ninda dit Pascal for subornation of a witness; TRAORE Bossobe for complicity in murder; OUEDRAOGO Nabonswende, SAWA WADOGO Idrissa, ILBOUDO Yamba Elysée, for murder.
The Prosecution has retained a list of 67 witnesses and two expert witnesses. An extradition warrant has been issued against Hyacinthe Kafando and against President Blaise Compaoré, who has been exfiltrated to Côte d’Ivoire from where he still refuses to appear.
France has meanwhile declassified and submitted three sorted batches of documents related to the case. Although the ICJS is no longer against the State party in this trial, it holds the State civilly responsible for the respondents.

The trial is taking place at a time when Burkina Faso is destabilized by recurrent attacks by jihadist cells and population displacement. Various political maneuvers are playing on this delicate situation to invoke immunity and amnesty for the defendants or prematurely evoke national reconciliation, which makes it more difficult to deal with this case in a serene manner. Some of the new lawyers on the defense team for the defendants requested a postponement to study the case. The judge adjourned the trial to 25 October 2021. He also refused to allow the trial to be recorded. The ICJS requests that the trial be recorded by the registry in full transparency and for archival purposes.
Our lawyers and comrades continue the marathon work of the ICSJ until truth and justice for Thomas Sankara and his comrades are achieved. ICSJ looks forward to the support of the people of Burkina Faso and pan-Africans around the world to ensure that the truth is finally known, that justice is done, and that reconciliation occurs.

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