Mali Court Ends Trial Of Former Coup Leader Sanogo

A court in Mali’s capital Bamako ends a much-delayed trial of former coup leader Amadou Sanogo, who was accused of killing 21 elite soldiers in 2012.

The court, which did not issue a verdict, also ended proceedings against 15 other defendants, citing a 2019 reconciliation law offering amnesty or pardon for specific crimes committed during the 2012 crisis.

Unless the prosecution decides to appeal, the decision puts to rest a case that has long embarrassed Mali’s government.

There were fears that a conviction of Sanogo would trigger dissent within army ranks. A former Malian defence minister was also among the defendants.

Sanogo, a former army captain, joined with several other plotters in staging a coup against President Amadou Toumani Toure after an insurgency erupted in northern Mali.

The court’s decision not to charge Sanogo will anger rights defenders in Mali, where armed forces are often accused of abuses.

A case against Sanogo began in 2016 but stalled.

A court then granted Sanogo temporary release last year, sparking fears among rights defenders and relatives of the dead soldiers that he would avoid facing trial.

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