- Senegalese parliament has legalised the trial of the deposed Chadian dictator through constitutional amendments. Hissčne Habré, who ruled Chad between 1982 and 1990, has been accused of committing gross violations of human rights.
He has been living in exile in Senegal since he was overthrown. In 2006, Senegal was mandated by the African Union to prosecute Mr Habré, but local court ruled it lacked jurisdiction to try the ex-president on war crimes charges.
The union appointed a Special Representative [the former Benin Minister of Justice and Foreign Affairs, Robert Dossou] for take care of the Dakar case.
The constitutional amendment would therefore clear legal obstacles to the trial. Mr Habré will be the first foreigner to be tried by a developing country.
Last November, Senegalese prosecutors announced their resolve to open investigations into Mr Habré's pending trial. will be the first foreigner to be tried by a developing country.
One of the lawyers of Habré's victims, William Bourdon, told a Dakar news conference that the case should take off in a few months because "too much time has been lost."
But another defence lawyer, Demba Ciré Bathily, argued that the evidence gathered by the lawyers of the victims will serve as a basis for the trial to kick-off.
Rights activists blamed Senegal for its lack of notable progress to prosecute Habré. They believed the outcome of the trial will put an end to the culture of impunity in Africa.
Victims of the former government have lodged so many complaints against Mr Habré who was also indicted by Belgium for committing heinous war crimes, including torture. The Habré government was accused of executing 40,000 political murders.
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