Former Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré was condemned to life in jail in his absence for his role in the assassination of his charismatic predecessor, Thomas Sankara.
Sankara, 37, was assassinated along with 12 others during the coup that brought Compaoré to power in 1987.
On Wednesday, the panel issued its decision.
“The court finds Blaise Compaoré and Hyacinthe Kafando guilty of attack on state security, collaboration in murder, and hiding of a corpse,” the tribunal said in its decision.
The former president was charged in absentia, alongside Hyacinthe Kafando, his former head of security, who was also sentenced to life imprisonment.
Compaoré and Kfando earlier denied any role in Sankara’s death; nonetheless, they were jailed with 12 other convicts suspected of being involved in the scheme.
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In a coup organized by Compaoré, Sankara was killed on October 15, 1987.
He was slain in the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, at the age of 37, four years after capturing power in a coup.
Sankara took office full of optimism, claiming to combat corruption and post-colonial influences. He also criticized foreign aid as a means of control.
During his presidency, he had widespread popular support for his attempts to strengthen the economy. People applauded his support of initiatives to prevent excessive spending by public authorities.
Compaoré ruled for 27 years after replacing Sankara. He was deposed in a coup in 2014 after attempting to modify the constitution to extend his reign.
He then escaped to Ivory Coast, where he was granted citizenship.
What you might not know about Blaise Compaoré
Blaise Compaoré, born February 3, 1951 in Ouagadougou, Upper Volta, French West Africa, is a military leader and politician who ruled Burkina Faso from 1987 after gaining power in a coup.
Following days of violent protest, he resigned on October 31, 2014.
Burkina Faso gained independence on December 11, 1958.