- A Bujumbura court cleared the former President of Burundi and four others accused of treason charges. Domitien Ndayizeye and others were charged with plotting to assassinate current President Pierre Nkurunziza.
President Nkurunziza, who was a former rebel leader, took over power from Mr Ndayizeye after he had won an election by a landslide. Mr Ndayizeye served as an interim leader of Burundi but stepped down from power after the elections his transitional government organised in 2005.
However, the court convicted two others, including an ex-rebel leader, Alain Mugabarabona, to serve between 15 and 20 years in prison. Mr Mugabarabona, a leader of the National Liberation Forces, was accused of being the ring leader of the alleged plot.
He had earlier spoken to local radio stations through a cell phone, accusing presidential police and intelligence agents of torturing him as well as threatening him with death. Mr Mugabarabona said there has not been any coup plot in the country. Rather, he said, it was an invention of security forces.
"Everything I accused former President Domitien Ndayizeye, former Vice-President Alphonse-Marie Kadege and the others of was extorted by torture and threats," the former rebel leader confessed.
The former Burundian leader had always maintained that he was innocent of any coup charges, saying he instead had plaid a vital role in introducing democracy in the war-ravaged country.
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