A court in Senegal on Thursday upheld the war crimes conviction of Hissène Habré, the former leader of a murderous regime in Chad, keeping in place a life sentence and establishing a trust fund for scores of victims who fought for years to bring him to justice.
It took an hour for the court to read a summary of its more than 200-page ruling on an appeal from Mr. Habré, who did not appear in court. Mr. Habré has dismissed the entire case against him as sham justice by a court that he has contended has no jurisdiction.
Reed Brody, a lawyer who has pursued the case since 1999 on behalf of victims, said the ruling was significant. “Habré’s life sentence is a powerful message that the days when tyrants could brutalize their people, pillage their treasury and escape abroad to a life of luxury are coming to an end,” he said.
A special court was created in Senegal, where Mr. Habré has been living in exile, to hear his case. The court convicted him last May of crimes against humanity and of torture. The panel of judges on Thursday dismissed a sex crimes charge against Mr. Habré. Read more