Senegal to Send Habre Back to Chad

Posted July 8th, 2011 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Senegal will next week extradite former Chadian president Hissene Habre back to Chad, where he is wanted on charges of killing thousands of people.

Chadian officials say Senegal's government has informed them that Mr. Habre will be sent home on Monday.

A Chadian inquiry accuses Mr. Habre of being responsible for 40,000 political killings during his eight years as president.

Mr. Habre was toppled in a coup in 1990 and since then has lived in exile in Senegal.

The former Chadian president has lived freely in Senegal despite an indictment by a Senegalese judge on charges of crimes against humanity.

Senegal initially said it did not have the jurisdiction to hold a trial. Once Senegal's laws were changed to allow such a trial, the government said the proceedings would be too expensive.

Rights group have been pressuring Senegal to try Mr. Habre or send him to a country that will. However, rights groups have also insisted he receive a fair trial and have expressed concerns over whether such conditions exist in Chad.

Chadian officials said Friday that they will ensure Mr. Habre receives a fair trial.

Belgium has also sought Mr. Habre's extradition. In 2005, Belgium charged Mr. Habre with crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture under its “universal jurisdiction” law that allows it to prosecute serious foreign crimes.