Chad officially refuses to extradite two EAC suspects

22 October 2014 by Nathalie Magnien

The simmering tensions between Chad and the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) in charge of the Hissène Habré case came to a boil last week. After months of inaction, N’Djamena has now officially refused to extradite two suspects and on 14 October backed out of a deal to allow court officials to question them in Chad.

An appeals chamber decision in August further fanned flames between Chad and the EAC, when the country’s application to become a civil party in the case was rejected [IJT-165]. In apparent retaliation, Chadian judicial officials earlier this month publicly refused to transfer the two detainees, who are former officials of Habré’s ‘political police’, the Directorate of Documentation and Security (DDS): ex-director Saleh Younouss and ex-coordinator Mahamat Djibrine also known as ‘El Djonto’. The stated reasoning to refuse handover is that the men should stand trial in Chad, where they are also facing charges. The EAC, however, says that as an international court, it is above national legislation.

On 3 October, the EAC investigative chamber had filed a request to visit N’Djamena to question the suspects while on a special mission scheduled for this month. But just days before the mission was to arrive, in a letter dated 14 October, Chadian judicial officials denied the request and cancelled the mission altogether.  

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