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04.06.2019 Africa

Top French court backs extradition of ex-Burkina leader's brother

By AFP
Francois Compaore, brother of the deposed Burkinabe president Blaise Compaore, picutred in 2012, is wanted over the 1998 killing of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo in Burkina Faso.  By Ahmed OUOBA (AFP/File)
JUN 4, 2019 AFRICA
Francois Compaore, brother of the deposed Burkinabe president Blaise Compaore, picutred in 2012, is wanted over the 1998 killing of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo in Burkina Faso. By Ahmed OUOBA (AFP/File)

France's top court on Tuesday approved the extradition of the brother of Burkina Faso's ousted leader Blaise Compaore to face prosecution in his homeland over the murder of a journalist.

The Court of Cassation backed a lower court ruling in December last year which also approved the extradition of Francois Compaore who was arrested in Paris in October 2017.

Compaore is wanted over the 1998 killing of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo in Burkina Faso.

He was one of the most disliked figures in the regime of Blaise Compaore, who was ousted in a popular revolt in October 2014 after trying to change the constitution to extend his 27-year grip on power.

A final decision on his extradition from France must be taken by the Paris government, and this could in theory be appealed at France's State Council, which rules on constitutional matters.

Compaore is wanted on charges of "inciting the death" of Zongo and three companions, whose charred bodies were found in a burnt-out car in the south of the country in December 1998.

Zongo's family have long accused Francois Compaore of having had a hand in the killings, which triggered mass protests in Burkina Faso and drew international condemnation.

Compaore's lawyers argued against his extradition saying the charges he faces do not exist in France and warned he could face the death penalty.

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