27 alleged Hissein Habré accomplices to stand trial Reviewed by Momizat on . N’Djamena, 24 October 2014 The N’Djamena Criminal Court will try individuals suspected of being DDS agents: 27 alleged Hissein Habré accomplices have been charg N’Djamena, 24 October 2014 The N’Djamena Criminal Court will try individuals suspected of being DDS agents: 27 alleged Hissein Habré accomplices have been charg Rating: 0

27 alleged Hissein Habré accomplices to stand trial

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N’Djamena, 24 October 2014

The N’Djamena Criminal Court will try individuals suspected of being DDS agents: 27 alleged Hissein Habré accomplices have been charged, 3 others acquitted for lack of evidence.

At a hearing yesterday, Thursday October 23, 2014 the Indictment Chamber* indicted 27 alleged accomplices of Hissein Habré, including Saleh Younouss and Mahamat Djibrine alias El Djonto – who are also claimed by the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar (EAC). The 27 were sent before the Criminal Court of N’Djamena to be judged. However, the Indictment Chamber estimated that no sufficient charges could be brought against the suspects Oumar Noury Abdelkérim, Zakaria Manu and Gamar Daouro, and ordered their release. The indictees are prosecuted with, in particular, charges of torture, barbaric acts, deliberate assault and homicide, murder, theft, fraud… in accordance with Articles 252, 253, 143, 239, 240, 241, 149, 150 and 151 of the Chadian Criminal Code. After two hours of deliberation, the Indictment Chamber which received the parties’ appeals, has partially dismissed the order made by the Investigating Judge.

After ordering a partial dismissal for some of the suspects, the Investigating Judge released 9 persons for lack of evidence on 3 September 2014. However, they were immediately rearrested following the Prosecutor’s call to refer them to the Criminal Court, along with 21 other people including Saleh Younouss Ali and Mahamat Djibrine alias El Djonto. For him, the prosecution had provided sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

Yesterday, Thursday October 23, the Indictment Chamber finally acquitted 3 of the 30 defendants (Oumar Noury Abdelkérim, Zakaria Manou and Gamar Daouro), indicting the other 27. Some of the Defense lawyers points irregularities in the prosecution, claiming that their clients have not been confronted with the civil parties. “My client has not read the complaint filed against him. Neither is there an individual complaint filed against him. We are told there is a collective complaint that has been filed against the accused in 2000. This must be declared inadmissible because, in criminal law, such a thing does not exist. A lawsuit must be conducted on a case by case basis. Moreover, the limitation period has expired. Hissein Habré was President of Chad from 1982 to 1990 and the complaint was filed in 2000. The statute of limitations is three years, and has therefore been exceeded. There are irregularities in the procedure,” explains one of the accused’s lawyers.

Facts acknowledged and denied

In his submissions, the Prosecutor stated that the defendants recognized they belonged to a law enforcement agency called the Directorate of Documentation and Security (DDS) but deny that they did anything more than following orders. Thousands of archives were found in the victims’ detention centers, to substantiate the charges. The Prosecutor of N’Djamena Court of Appeal recalls that by the end of a national inquiry [opened in 1990] that lasted seventeen months and that could consider only 10% of the potentially criminal acts, the national commission uncovered that over 40,000 where killed under Habré’s regime. Of those people, 3,780 individuals were identified. The commission also reported more than 80,000 orphans, 30,000 widows and 200,000 left without moral or material support.

Gérard N. Sanga-N’Dem

(*) Following this order from the Indictment Chamber, the Prosecutor of N’Djamena announced on Thursday, October 30th, that “the trial of Saleh Younouss and 28 others should start between 14 November and 13 December 2014,” according to Xinhua News Agency.

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