KIGALI, Rwanda

A military tribunal in Burkina Faso resumed the trial of the alleged killers of revolutionary leader and former President Thomas Sankara on Wednesday, days after the military government re-established the Constitution.

The court announced Monday the suspension of the trial because of a recent coup that led to the dissolution of the national assembly and suspension of the Constitution.

The trial resumed following the restoration of the Constitution, according to the court.

The session Wednesday heard closing arguments that were scheduled to begin before soldiers, led by Lt. Col. Paul Henri Sandaogo Damiba, seized power and deposed President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

It is the final stage of arguments before a verdict is announced.

The military issued a “fundamental act” lifting the constitutional suspension earlier this week, days after it seized power.

The Constitution was first issued in 1991 and last updated in 2018.
It contains 37 Articles and establishes the presumption of innocence, freedom of speech and movement and guarantees independence of the judiciary.

The trial of 14 defendants accused of plotting Sankara’s assassination began in October at a military court in the nation’s capital of Ouagadougou — 34 years after his murder.

Sankara assumed power in 1983. He was killed Oct. 15, 1987, at the age of 37, during a coup led by former President Blaise Compaore, a former ally and main defendant in the case.

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