Court delays trial of Burkina Faso ex-leader for protest killings

  • World
  • Thursday, 27 Apr 2017

FILE PHOTO: Blaise Compaore, sits on stage to support a commitment to stop poaching of African elephants at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York September 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - A court in Burkina Faso on Thursday postponed the trial of former leader Blaise Compaore and his cabinet for their alleged role in killing protesters during an uprising in October 2014 that overthrew his government.

The unrest saw crowds of hundreds of thousands marched in the capital Ouagadougou against Compaore's attempt to prolong his 27-year rule, driving him into exile in Ivory Coast where he remains.

"After concertation, we agreed to meet on May 4 at 9:00 a.m.," said the high court's president Mathieu Ouedraogo. The decision followed a request from a lawyer for the defence.

At least 25 ministers from Compaore's former cabinet turned up at court on Thursday, shaking hands and talking amicably as a large crowd looked on from the benches. Compaore and the ministers face assassination charges for allegedly authorising the use of force that killed at least 24 protesters.

Since the insurrection, Burkina Faso has completed a rocky transition period during which a close ally of Compaore sought to seize power in a thwarted coup before holding peaceful elections that brought Roch Marc Kabore to power in 2015.

(Reporting by Nadoun Coulibaly; Writing by Emma Farge; Editing by Richard Lough)

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