Burkina Faso seeks 30 years for Compaore over Sankara assassination
The world has been waiting for decades for justice to be achieved in the case of revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, and it looks like that is just around the corner.
Military prosecutors said Tuesday they were seeking a 30-year jail time for former Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore over his 1987 murder of his predecessor Thomas Sankara.
The trial is heading to a climax as the situation in the West African nation simmers following the coup that overthrew the leadership, which was called on by the public over their dissatisfaction with the government's response to domestic terrorist attacks.
which was called on by the public over their dissatisfaction with the government's response to domestic terrorist attacks.
Prosecutors asked a military court in the capital Ouagadougou to find Compaore, who fled to Ivory Coast in 2014, guilty on several counts.
Compaore is being tried in absentia over his masterminding of the assassination, and his charges include attacking state security, concealing a corpse, and complicity in a murder.
A hit squad gunned down Sankara and 12 of his comrades in 1987 at a meeting of the ruling National Revolutionary Council, and their assassination coincided with a coup that brought Campaore, a former ally, to power.
Campaore ruled the country for 27 years ahead of the toppling of his regime in 2014 when he fled the country.
The prosecution also requested 30 years in jail for the commander of Compaore's presidential guard, Hyacinthe Kafando, who is suspected of having led the hit squad. He is also being tried in absentia.
They also sought a 20-year sentence for Gilbert Diendere, one of the commanders of the army during the 1987 coup and the main defendant present at the trial.
He is already serving a 20-year sentence over an attempted military coup in 2015.
Mariam Sankara, the revolutionary leader's wife, welcomed the prosecution's plea. "We've been waiting for years," she said. Now "we're waiting for the final verdict."