Chad can’t be a civil party in Habré case, rules EAC

10 September 2014 by Nathalie Magnien, N'Djamena (Chad)

Relations between the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) and Chad have further soured as the country was denied a request to be a civil party in the case against its ex-president, Hissène Habré, and N’Djamena still tarries over the transfer of suspects.

Chad argued that it should become a civil party in the case before the specially created EAC in Dakar, citing economic, financial and moral suffering when Habré fled to Senegal after being overthrown in 1990. The government claimed the ex-leader took an estimated 7 billion CFA francs (about 10 million euros) from the state coffers with him. However, in an appeals decision of 27 August, the judges pointed out that Chad’s grounds for becoming a civil party were that Habré pillaged the country. And yet he faces no charges of pillaging at the court. 

According to the judges’ statement, if Chad were to have become a civil party it would “extend the proceedings with crimes not envisaged by the prosecutor”. After years of legal and political wrangling, in 2012 Senegal agreed to prosecute the former Chadian leader and last year the EAC was set up to try the case in which he faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture.

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