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Burkina's court postpones Sankara trial for two weeks

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Burkina Faso

The trial of the 1987 assassination of Thomas Sankara has been adjourned to October 25 after the defense lawyers asked for more time to prepare their case.

Two defense lawyers, appointed by the court, had asked for a postponement of the trial by one month "in the name of the truth", arguing that they had not had enough time to study "the 20,000 documents in the file".

"The request of the defendants' counsel for a reasonable period of time to examine the documents in the file is a request that seemed to us to be well-founded in principle, which is why, as counsel for the civil party, we did not formulate any particular objections. They asked for one month, the court granted them two weeks, we believe that this is a reasonable time," Judge Ambroise Farama, the plaintiff's lawyer said.

On the other hand, he rejected a request to record the debates on camera as demanded by the civil party.

The plaintiff hoped to archive the proceeding for future references by the younger generations.

"We had hoped, though this trial could have been recorded because we believe that it is a part of the great history of Burkina that is being written through this trial. And for future generations, it would have been good for us to have reliable archives to allow the memory community of this country to remember what happened in 1987 and to learn from it. Unfortunately, the court decided otherwise, we take note because we must respect the decisions of the court," Judge Prosper Farama, plaintiff's lawyer said.

As expected, the main defendant, Blaise Compaoré, was not present Monday morning at the court, which was relocated to another hall that can hold about 300 people.

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