Former Burkina Faso FM set for release ahead of trial

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Former Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibril Bassole
Former Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibril Bassole

A former Burkina Faso foreign minister will be released from detention pending trial over his alleged involvement in a 2015 coup attempt, his lawyer announced on Wednesday.

Djibril Bassole, the last FM under deposed President Blaise Compaore, is among two dozen people accused of taking part in the coup attempt mounted by the presidential guard, led by Compaore’s military advisor General Gilbert Diendere.

Bassole’s defence lawyer, Dieudonne Bonkoungou, said the military tribunal trying the case had agreed to his provisional release. It was however not immediately clear when that would happen.

The defence team denied that Bassole was involved in the coup attempt. It says that he was detained for political reasons to prevent him from running in the 2015 presidential election.

At least 11 people were killed and 271 others injures as the Burkina Faso presidential guard crushed protests against the plotters who had taken members of a transitional government hostage ahead of scheduled elections.

Diendere who had taken charge in the incident, is now charged with crimes against humanity, threatening state security, murder and collusion. He was forced to hand back power after a week.

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