Bouake bombing trial: three defendants sentenced to life imprisonment

The verdict has just been rendered in the trial of the bombing of the French camp in Bouaké. After nearly three weeks of hearings, the court has just sentenced the three defendants, Yury Sushkin, the Belarusian mercenary, Ange Gnanduillet and Patrice Ouei, the two Ivorian officers, to life imprisonment
The verdict was announced early this afternoon by the president of the Paris Assise Court: life imprisonment for the three defendants. Yury Sushkin, the Belarusian mercenary, Ange Magloire Gnanduillet and Patrice Ouei, the two Ivorian officers, were found guilty of murder and attempted murder.
This was an expected verdict, as the public prosecutor had called for such a conviction this Thursday morning. But will this verdict be enough to ease the pain of the injured and the families of the victims? Not so sure, because the three defendants, absent from this trial, will not serve their sentence. The public prosecutor acknowledged this morning that the probability that they would be arrested was “low”.
Then, to the great displeasure of the civil parties, these three weeks of hearings will not have made it possible to know who precisely gave the order to bomb the French camp and why France did not arrest the alleged Sukhoi pilots made available by Togo, even though, as the public prosecutor reminded us on Thursday morning, the legal framework existed to do so? “It is not for the court to discuss the reasons that led the French authorities to decline the offer of the Togolese Minister of the Interior,” explained the president of the court as he announced the verdict.
More than the verdict itself, the lawyers for the civil parties praised the reasons for the decision rendered by the president of the court at the end of the hearing. Me Lionel Béthune de Moro, lawyer for 23 of the civil parties stated “It gives the lie to the rumor of a conspiracy, and on the other hand, it gives a well-founded opinion that I believe all the civil parties share, namely that the judicial authority was set aside, and this is a real regret for everyone.”
The court indeed “deplored” that “the French legal and judicial authorities were neither consulted nor informed” of the arrest of the Sukhoi mechanics by the French army and of the pilots of the planes by the Togolese authorities. On this last point, the court considered that the French authorities had “declined the offer of the Togolese Minister of the Interior to hand over the pilots.
A little phrase that did not escape Patricia Coutand, “I consider that when we choose to say that we declined the offer, it means that a decision was taken and that it is not a failure or an absence of reaction. ”
Could this court’s assessment then lead to a judicial follow-up? “We’re thinking about it, it’s a little early to tell you, but I’d like to. My clients, in any case, have told me clearly that this is the end of a chapter, not the end of the book, so we won’t stick to this one decision. We absolutely have to try to go further. “What could be the next step? Patricia Coutand did not want to say more for the moment.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 3146 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network