PARIS (Reuters) – France’s highest court paved the way for the extradition to Burkina Faso of the brother of ex-Burkinabe president Blaise Compaore on Tuesday by rejecting Francois Compaore’s appeal.
Police detained Francois Compaore at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris in October 2017 on an international arrest warrant related to the 1998 murder of Norbert Zongo, who published Burkina Faso’s Independent newspaper.
The killing of Zongo, who had been investigating the murder of a driver who worked for Francois Compaore, became a symbol of repression during Blaise Compaore’s 27-year rule, which ended in a popular uprising in 2014.
France’s Court of Cassation on Tuesday confirmed an earlier decision by an appeal court in December. French President Emmanuel Macron still needs to pass a decree for the extradition to go ahead.
During a trip to Burkina Faso in November 2017, Macron said he would “do everything to facilitate” Francois Compaore’s extradition.
Compaore’s lawyer said the case was politically motivated.
“In my view, this is a political trial without the guarantees of a fair trial in Burkina Faso,” the lawyer, Pierre-Olivier Sur, told Reuters.
Veteran leader Blaise Compaore fled to Ivory Coast during the 2014 uprising. He faces an international arrest warrant in connection with the 1987 murder of former president Thomas Sankara.
(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Gareth Jones)