Lawyers for Chad ex-dic­ta­tor Habre ap­peal life sen­tence

Pakistan Observer - - 07 -

DAKAR—The legal team for Chad’s former dic­ta­tor His­sene Habre has ap­pealed the ver­dict handed down by a spe­cial tri­bunal that found him guilty and sen­tenced him to life im­pris­on­ment for crimes against hu­man­ity, war crimes, tor­ture and sex crimes dur­ing his time in power, one of his lawyers said Satur­day. The ap­peal was sub­mit­ted Fri­day to the Ex­tra­or­di­nary African Cham­bers, set up by Sene­gal and the African Union to try Habre for crimes com­mit­ted dur­ing his 19821990 rule.

It was the first trial in which the courts of one coun­try pros­e­cuted the former ruler of an­other for al­leged hu­man rights crimes. “We are con­vinced of his in­no­cence for all charges he’s fac­ing,” said one of Habre’s court-ap­pointed lawyers, Mounir Bal­lal, call­ing the life sen­tence an­nounced May 30 too se­vere. The Cham­bers ap­pointed three lawyers for Habre af­ter he re­fused rep­re­sen­ta­tion at the start of the trial in July, call­ing the trial po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

The Cham­bers will now put in a place a court of ap­peals, likely around Au­gust, said Cham­bers spokesman Mar­cel Mendy. The court will be com­posed of a pres­i­dent, who is nei­ther Cha­dian nor Sene­galese, along with three Sene­galese as­ses­sors, in­clud­ing an al­ter­nate, all ap­pointed by the African Union, he said.—AP

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