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Lawyer of Hissene Habre calls for his immediate release

Lawyer of Hissene Habre calls for his immediate release

Senegal

Hissene Habre’s lawyer has called for his immediate release after the Extraordinary African Chambers sentenced the former Chadian president to life in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The lawyer who is not among the defense lawyers appointed by the Extraordinary African Chambers said Senegalese judge Amady Diouf, does not fulfil the conditions to be among the college of judges to handle the case.

“He has never worked as a judge and therefore could not be designated as judge in the Extraordinary African Chambers. He served as technical adviser of Sidiki Kaba who chose him in total violation of the statutes,” Habres’s lawyer Barrister Ibrahima Diawara, told reporters during a press conference in Dakar.

The lawyer had not participated in the case following instructions from Hissene Habre but has criticised what he refers to as the illegal detention of their client.

“Considering this irregularities and the consequences being the invalidity of the court decisions, we consider that President Hissene Habre has been arbitrarily detained,” Diawara added.

Barrister Diawara did not say anything about the appeal filed by Habre’s court appointed lawyers.

The Extraordinary African Chambers said Justice Amady Diouf has worked as a judge in Senegal for 25 years and therefore his experience cannot be doubted.

“Amady Diouf worked as magistrate for 25 years. He worked in the office of the public prosecutor, headquarters and the ministry of justice,” Marcel Mendy, spokesman of the Extraordinary African Chambers said.

The Extraordinary African Chambers was specially set up to try Habre following an agreement between the Senegalese government and the African Union.

The court became operational in February 2013.

Hissene Habre, former president of Chad from 1982-1990, was toppled in a military coup led by president Idris Deby Itno.

The verdict on the appeal filed by his court appointed defense lawyers is expected by April 2017.