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Last updateVen, 30 Jan 2015 11am

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Hissène Habré rejects competence of special trial court

Dakar, Senegal - Former Chadian leader Hissene Habre, who made his first appearance before the Extraordinary African Chambers set up specially to try him for war crimes and crimes against humanity, has said the court is incompetent to try him.

Habre made the assertion Thursday in Dakar, Senegal, the seat of the court, which opened 8 Feb. 2013 to prepare a case against the former Chadian President Hissène Habré.

Habré has been accused of responsibility for the deaths of more than 40,000 people and the torture of more than 20,000 during his eight-year rule of Chad (1982-1990). 

He refused to answer the 50 questions put to him by the special prosecutor of the court and, at the end of the session, was returned to his cell at the Cap Manuel Prison in Dakar.

Habré, who has been on exile in the Senegalese capital since his fall from power, was placed in preventive detention on 2 July 2013.

In 2010, the ECOWAS Court of Justice ruled that Habré should be tried under a “special ad hoc procedure of an international character”.

Senegal and the African Union signed an agreement in December to set up the court to try Habre.

Pana 15/02/2014