Former Burundi president Pierre Buyoya (70) has rejected the verdict of Burundi’s court that sentenced him for life in prison accused of having played a role in the assassination of former president Melchior Ndadaye in 1993.
Buyoya who is currently the Special Envoy of the African Union in Mali/ Sahel Region tweeted that the trial was purely political, “This is purely political trial that violates the Arusha Accord and the right of every citizen to a fair trial. I will appeal to national and international courts.”
This comes after Burundi’s Court handed Buyoya along with other former officials a life sentence on October 19th, 2020, the assassination of former president Melchior Ndadaye sparked ethnic violence that led to thousands of Burundians losing their lives.
The verdict was released two days prior to the commemoration of the 27th anniversary since Ndadaye’s assassination saw former government officials convicted of having a hand in the death of the former Burundi president.
The trial on the assassination of the first democratically elected president was first heard in October 2019 and inducted once in December 2018.
Mr Pierre Buyoya was sentenced to life in prison and fined BIF 102 Billion in compensation to the families that lost their beloved ones.
The AU envoy was sentenced along with other 18 former senior officials with majority of them living in the diaspora, while four of those convicted reside in the country
Mr Pierre Buyoya ruled the country from September 9, 1997 to July 10, 1993 and returned from July 25, 1996 to April 30, 2003.
Burundi’s ministry of justice in 2018 issued seventeen international warrants of former government officials including Pierre Buyoya.