Thomas Sankara: Court sentences ex-Burkina Faso President Compaore to life in prison

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A Burkinabe court has sentenced former President Blaise Compaoré to life imprisonment for the murder of his predecessor, Thomas Sankara.

The long-awaited verdict on Wednesday brought to close, a six-month trial about the murder of Mr Sankara, who was assassinated during a coup led by his friend and comrade-in-arms, Mr Compaoré, on October 15, 1987.

Military prosecutors in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, had requested a 30-year sentence for Mr Compaoré, who was being tried alongside 13 others.

Two other main suspects were also handed life imprisonment sentences. They are Gilbert Diendéré, one of the leaders of the 1987 putsch and leader of the 2015 coup, as well as Hyacinthe Kafando, leader of Mr Compaoré’s guards at the time.

Mr Compaoré, who was unseated in a 2014 uprising, fled to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire where he was given citizenship. He was tried in absentia, like Mr Kafando but unlike Mr Diendéré who is in custody.

Mr Sankara, a pan-Africanist leader who had taken power in 1983, was killed at 37 along with 12 other government officials.

Mr Compaoré became his successor, ruling until his 2014 ouster.

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