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Guinea's ex-junta leader indicted for over 156 deaths

09 July 2015, 09:35

Ouagadougou - Guinea's ex-junta leader was indicted on Wednesday for the deaths of more than 156 people gathered at an opposition rally in 2009, his lawyer said.

Moussa Dadis Camara and his lawyer met behind closed doors with two Guinean magistrates who came to Burkina Faso, where Camara is in exile. They met for about three hours.

"I can confirm that my client has been indicted," said the lawyer, Jean Baptiste Haba. "There is a hearing on the matter in more depth for the moment, and it is in secret."

The indictment could not be independently confirmed.

Camara seized power in a 2008 military coup, hours after the death of long-time despot Lansana Conte. In September 2009, the presidential guard opened fire on thousands of protesters who had gathered in the national soccer stadium to demand that Camara resign, killing at least 156. Over 100 women were gang-raped by soldiers, according to rights groups.

Camara was shot in the head a few months later by a top aide, and went to Burkina Faso as part of a peace deal.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement during a visit to Guinea last week that numerous high-ranking individuals have been indicted, and hundreds of victims and key witnesses have been interviewed, as part of Guinean judicial investigations into the September 2009 events.

Haba said Camara's hearings with the magistrates could continue into next week, and it was unclear what Guinean authorities would choose to do.

In May, Camara declared he was moving into politics, heading up a new political party and saying he would be a candidate for Guinea's presidential elections later this year.

- AP


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