Former Chadian leader receives death sentence

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Friday, August 15, 2008

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Hissen Habre, the former President of Chad, has received a death sentence for plotting to overthrow the Chadian government. He is currently in exile and is living in Senegal.

In addition, the head of Rally of Forces for Change, Timane Erdimi, was sentenced to death in absentia as well as 10 other individuals. Erdimi is related to the current President of Chad, Idriss Déby. 32 other people were penalized with hard labor.

The inquiry said that Habre's government was responsible for 40,000 politically motivated murders and 200,000 torture cases.

The trial, which began on Tuesday, lasted for three days. The individuals tried in the hearing, received no legal defence throughout the period. El Hadj Diouf, Habre's lawyer in Senegal, stated that "this is a manipulation ... I'm not taking this seriously." Habre is expected to be tried in Senegal per the request of the African Union. The trial could potentially be years away, as no official date has been set.

Since being forced out of power in 1990, Habre has fought in a rebellion against the Chadian government along the eastern border of the country.

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