The long-awaited trial for the murder of Pan African leader, Thomas Sankara; who was assassinated in a coup d’etat which brought the exiled former president Blaise Compaore to power; has been set for 11 October, according to announcement of military prosecutors.
Blaise Compaore and 13 others have been charged by a military tribunal over the death of Sankara; a charismatic revolutionary figure whom some referred to as the African Che Guevara.
Tuesday’s announcement came in a statement from prosecutors at the military tribunal in capital Ouagadougou.
Proceedings on the Assassination of Thomas Sankara
The proceedings, which will be held in public, will begin at 9:00 am local time.It has taken 34 years for the case to finally come to court. Guy Hervé Kam, one of the lawyers representing families of victims, told RFI it was a victory and “a time for truth” for the families.
“It’s been a long wait to establish in a clear, precise and public way; who was individually or collectively responsible for the events which led to the tragedy on 15 October 1987,” he said.
The case file finally arrived on the desk of the city’s military prosecutors in April.
According to RFI, Blaise Compaore and 12 others face charges of harming state security; complicity in murder and complicity in the concealment of corpses.
Among those accused alongside Compaore is General Gilbert Diendere, Compaore’s former right-hand man; and a former head of the elite Presidential Security Regiment (RSP) at the time of the coup.
Diendere is already serving a 20-year sentence in Burkina Faso for masterminding a plot in 2015; against the West African country’s transitional government.
He is believed to have headed the unit that killed Sankara.
Several other members of the presidential guard at that time will also join them in the dock. But 34 years after the events in question some of those originally accused have already died; according to lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case.