The Ouagadougou Court of Cassation has cancelled the international arrest warrant issued by the military court against the former Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore and Ivorian National Assembly president Guillaume Soro.
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“All international arrest warrants have been cancelled today by the Supreme Court for lack of form. It concerns both the arrest warrant against Blaise Compaore, the one against Guillaume Soro and others,” said Armand Ouedraogo, the Attorney General of the Court of Cassation on Thursday.
“These cancellations were made as a result of formal defects because the military court should have asked for the submissions of the Government Commissioner (prosecutor) before issuing the warrants. This formality has not been completed and the Court has decided to cancel all international mandates,” Ouedraogo explained.
The government commissioner appealed to the House and the Supreme Court for the cancellation of the orders, said a source close to the case.
“Section 130 of the Criminal Procedure Code requires the judge to require the prosecution case before any international mandate,” the source added.
The Burkinabe military court issued on December 4 an international arrest warrant for Blaise Compaore, who is a refugee in Ivory Coast since his overthrow on October 31, 2014.
The court also issued another arrest warrant on January 8 for the Ivorian National Assembly president Guillaume Soro for his alleged involvement in the failed coup against the transitional government of Burkina Faso in September 2015.
His indictment was based on the recording of a telephone conversation supposedly between him and Djibril Bassole, former Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso.
Djibril Bassole, a key member of the Blaise Compaore regime and Guillaume Soro have both denied having the conversation calling the allegation a “manipulation”.
Another international arrest warrant for Ms. Fatou Diallo, the wife of General Gilbert Diendere, alleged mastermind of the failed coup, was also cancelled.
“The cancellation of warrants does not mean it’s over. Judges can take over and correct the procedures through valid means. These are gaps that can be filled even tomorrow if the judges want,” the Attorney General Ouedraogo said.
Compaore has been indicted for his alleged involvement in the assassination of President Thomas Sankara who was killed on October 15, 1987 during a coup that brought him to power.
He was charged with “murder”, “assassination” and “corpse concealment” as part of the open enquiry in March 2015 by the Burkina Faso transition authorities.