Former Burundian Prime minister faces life sentence

A life sentence was requested on Thursday November 09 against Burundi’s former all-powerful Prime Minister Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, accused of wanting to “overthrow the constitutional regime”, according to a judicial source and witnesses.
General Bunyoni, 51, was appearing with six co-defendants before Burundi’s Supreme Court, sitting in a room at the central prison in Gitega, the country’s political capital, where he is being held. Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, who became Prime Minister in June 2020, was dismissed from his post in September 2022, a few days after President Evariste Ndayishimiye denounced plans for a “coup d’état”.
Mr. Bunyoni had long been regarded as the regime’s true number two and the leader of the hardliners among the generals working behind the scenes. Arrested in April 2023 and charged with “undermining the internal security of the State”, illegal possession of weapons and insulting the Head of State, he was also accused during his trial of having “committed fetishes against the life of the Head of State” and of taking illegal interest, according to a judicial source.
“For all these reasons, I ask that Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni be punished by a sentence of penal servitude for life”, requested deputy prosecutor Jean-Bosco Bucumi. He also demanded a fine of 7.1 million Burundian francs (around 2,300 euros) and damages amounting to “twice the value of the 153 houses and plots of land and 43 vehicles belonging to him”.
The prosecution requested 30 years’ imprisonment for his six co-defendants, including police colonel Désiré Uwamahoro and Destino-Samuel Bapfumukeko, a senior member of the National Intelligence Service (SNR). General Bunyoni has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has asked to be acquitted outright, citing “a lack of evidence” to support the accusation. The verdict is expected within 30 days.

About Geraldine Boechat 2761 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia