Shortly before the start of the trial on the circumstances of the assassination in 1987 of Thomas Sankara, civil society organizations had expressed the wish that it be broadcast live on television and radio, like the popular courts of the revolution initiated by Thomas Sankara.
This approach, according to the assassinated Presidential Captain, responded to an imperative of dissuasion and had historical value. Paradoxically, 37 years after his murder, his judgment is forbidden to be recorded.
The disappointment is great for many Burkinabè to note that the trial of the assassination of Thomas Sankara and his twelve companions will not be recorded or filmed even by the direction of the communication of the armed forces.
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Judge Urbain Meda, president of the trial chamber of the Ouagadougou military court, did not accede to the request of the civil party’s lawyers.
This decision is inappropriate in the opinion of the secretary general of the international committee of the Thomas Sankara memorial.
“We are a little disgusted. In great democracies, there is always a story. The actual course of this long-awaited trial all over the world deserved that historians and researchers could in twenty, thirty, fifty years look at it.“, believes Luc Damiba.
Thomas Sankara assassinated on October 15, 1987
The defense which pleaded for the prohibition of recording of this trial, is rather satisfied with this decision of the court which, for it, answers to pre-established legal principles.
Moumouny Kopiho, defense lawyer, strongly insisted on the fact that he would not wish to be filmed or recorded during a hearing, even emblematic.
“I asked that the law be applied. The law says that we do not record trials. And we come to ask to derogate from the law because it is an emblematic issue. Respect our justice“, explains the lawyer.
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An act not yet illegal
Audiovisual recording of hearings is however not illegal in Burkina Faso, maintains Maître Séraphin Somé, lawyer for the civil party.
“Contrary to what the court advised as a provision, authorizing not to allow recording, there were however other provisions in our code of criminal procedure which provide that the debates can be recorded during a trial.“, says Maître Séraphin Somé.
The main argument of the defense, brandishing a newspaper as an example, of not seeing national security matters leaked to the press seems to have convinced the court.
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