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Ousted Burkina leader loyalists challenge treason indictment

29 July 2015, 08:46

Ouagadougou - Loyalists of Burkina Faso's ousted president Blaise Compaore have petitioned the country's constitutional council to cancel the former leader's indictment for treason, sources close to Compaore's party told AFP on Tuesday.

On July 16, the west African country's transitional council indicted Compaore for "high treason" and violating the constitution.

Accusing parliament of a "witch hunt", nine lawmakers from the pro-Compaore faction in parliament filed a constitutional challenge against the indictment, according to Mathieu Some, legal affairs chief of Compaore's Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) party.

"We're asking the Constitutional Council to rule on the anti-constitutional nature of the different resolutions voted by the TNC [Transitional National Council] and to simply cancel them," Mamadou Traore, the lawyer in charge of the appeal, told AFP.

Also read: Burkina Faso reshuffles govt 3 months before polls

Brutal crackdown

The lawmakers are also challenging the council's indictment of several members of Compaore's government for "intentional assault, murder and complicity in assault and murder".

The resolution adopted by the council, which acts as a parliament, was backed by 60 out of a total 90 lawmakers.

The CDP's legal affairs chief said the constitution required a four-fifths majority of deputies for the motion to pass and also required that the council organise a secret ballot.

The vote was held by a show of hands instead.

Burkina Faso has been run by transitional authorities since Compaore fled the country last year after a popular uprising triggered by an attempt to extend his 27-year rule.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets, and were met with a brutal crackdown by security forces.

On October 31, Compaore stepped down and went into exile in Ivory Coast.

Presidential and legislative elections are due to be held on October 11.



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