Burundi court slaps life terms on 21 'coup plotters'
10 May 2016, 11:31
Nairobi – Burundi's Supreme Court on Monday slapped life sentences
on 21 army officers involved in a supposed coup plot in May last year.
The court had in January given 30-year jail terms to nine officers
and sentenced eight other soldiers to five years while acquitting seven others.
But prosecutors appealed the initial sentence. The decision is
however not binding as it can be appealed once more.
"Twenty-one officers including the main accused like General
Cyrille Ndayirukiye were sentenced to life," a judicial source said,
speaking in the central city of Gitega.
The source said two senior army officers initially acquitted were
also given life terms.
Prosecutors had said in January that they wanted all jailed for
life and the seven acquitted to face a re-trial.
Burundi has been in crisis since April 2015 when President Pierre
Nkurunziza ran for a controversial third term, sparking street protests, the
failed coup, regular killings and smouldering violence.
Hundreds have been killed and a quarter of a million people have
fled Burundi since.