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Burkina Faso: Soldiers trial adjourned

Burkina Faso: Soldiers trial adjourned

Burkina Faso

The trial of 27 Burkinabe soldiers accused of planning to release jailed colleagues after a failed coup has been adjourned to the January 5, 2017 as a result of the absence of some defense lawyers.

The hearing has been going on since Tuesday before a military tribunal in Ouagadougou.

The 27 soldiers all members of a former regiment of Compaore’s presidential security had been arrested in December 2015 for allegedly planning to free coup leader Gilbert Diendére and former foreign affairs minister Djibril Bassolé as well as complicity and illegal detention of firearms and ammunition.

“In announcing our coming together in this case, we knew fully well that they had no other option but to adjourn the case. So it was a useless struggle. They would have just forgotten about that and go ahead to adjourn the case,” one of the defense lawyers, Arno Sampebre said.

According to prosecutors the accused also wanted to attack gendarmarie brigades in Ouagadougou as well as an army weapons storage centre.

Their plan prosecutors say, was to ensure the comeback of the presidential guards dissolved after the failed coup, push for the reintegration of hundreds of soldiers removed in 2011 as well as call for the payment of unpaid allowances after their return from a United Nations mission.

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