The opening day of the long-awaited trial, which has since been hit by strikes by lawyers and prison guards

Trial of Guinea ex-dictator Camara resumes after strike

By AFP

The opening day of the long-awaited trial, which has since been hit by strikes by lawyers and prison guards

The trial of Guinea’s former dictator Moussa Dadis Camara over a 2009 massacre resumed Monday after weeks of delays due to strikes by lawyers and prison wardens, an AFP journalist saw.

The case had been suspended since May 29 following a boycott by lawyers who said they had been unpaid for more than eight months.

It was due to resume on June 21 after an agreement was reached, but was delayed again because of a strike by prison wardens.

Camara and 10 other ex-military and government officials stand accused in the killing of 156 people and the rape of least 109 women by pro-junta forces at an opposition rally at a stadium in the capital Conakry.

The trial began on September 28, 2022, exactly 13 years after the massacre.

Camara has denied ordering the slaughter.

The court on Monday heard from one of the accused, Captain Marcel Guilavogui, a nephew of Camara and a former member of the presidential guard.

He said Camara was the “designer, organiser and executor” of the massacre — changing his position from November 2022, when he gave evidence to the contrary.

“I decided to tell the truth. I thought that president Dadis (Camara) was going to have the courage to take responsibility for what he planned”, Guilavogui said.

The change led one of Guilavogui’s lawyers to step down, saying he could not “defend one thing and its opposite”.

Despite the trial’s resumption, lawyers say their payment demands are still unresolved.

Defence lawyer Antoine Pepe Lamah told AFP by telephone that they had given the justice ministry until the end of July to fix the problem.

But he warned that the attorneys would resume their boycott after the August holiday period if “the promises made are not fulfilled.”

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