More than 400 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the death of former Chadian head of state, Marshal Idriss Déby. The defendants are rebels from Fact (Front for Change and Concord in Chad). The verdict released on Tuesday March 21 also indicates that 24 defendants were acquitted for lack of evidence.
After more than a month of hearings, the judges in charge of the case sentenced the detained defendants to life imprisonment on Tuesday, as well as one of the Fact’s executives, Mahamat Mahdi Ali, in absentia. The charges against them are “acts of terrorism, mercenarism, enlisting children in the army and endangering the life of the Head of State”.
The hearings of the Criminal Court of the Court of Appeal of N’Djamena were held behind closed doors in the prison compound of Klessoum, some 20 km southeast of the capital.
In March 2021, FACT, the most powerful rebel group at the time, launched an offensive towards the Chadian capital from its rear bases in Libya.
On 20 April 2021, the Chadian army announced that Marshal Déby had been killed by rebels on his way to the front. The army then appointed one of its sons, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, President of the Republic for a transitional period, at the head of a military junta of 15 generals.
It should be noted that this trial comes at a time when Transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby promised in October 2022, at the end of the inclusive national dialogue, that the FACT prisoners would be released.