It's a shame Compaore is boycotting murder trial - Sankara's widow

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Wed, 13 Oct 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The wife of slain Burkinabe president, Thomas Sankara, returned to the country for the opening of the trial into the 1987 murder of her husband.

Mariam, who resides in southern France, told journalists on Monday (October 11) when the trial opened in Ouagadougou that the trial will give closure to herself, the family and all concerned citizens.

"This is a day of truth for me, my family and all Burkinabe," she said.

In an interview with France 24, she said it was sad that Compaore - the beneficiary of Sankara's death - had failed to appear before judges.

"It is a shame, she should have come. He was one of the leaders at the time (and) he needs to answer some questions from judges in Burkina Faso.

"I hope one day he will come. He is the one who benefited from the crime. We have heard many things since his (Sankara's) assassination and all of it leaves us to think it was a premeditated murder and the one who benefited from the death cannot be thought of as innocent," she said.

Meanwhile, the family's lawyer, Stanislas Benewende Sankara -- unrelated to the slain leader -- chastised the absence of the main accused, exiled former President Blaise Compaore.

He described Compaore's absence "slap in the face" to Burkina Faso's justice system. The former President is one of 14 defendants in the case, he has notified the court that he will not be participating in proceedings.

The trial "may not be the end of the tunnel, but we are reaching a very important phase, judicially speaking," the lawyer added.

The case was adjourned for two weeks, half the duration defense lawyers had requested from the trial judge.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com