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France authorises Francois Compaoré extradition to Burkina Faso

Francois Compaoré, brother of the deposed Burkinabe President Blaise Compaoré, looks on during a summit in Ouagadougou in December 2012.
Francois Compaoré, brother of the deposed Burkinabe President Blaise Compaoré, looks on during a summit in Ouagadougou in December 2012. Photo: Ahmed Ouoba/AFP
2 min

The French government on Thursday authorised the extradition of Francois Compaoré to Burkina Faso where he is to face charges over the murder of a journalist. Francois Compaoré is the brother of Blaise Compaore, who was toppled in a popular uprising in 2014 after attempting to change the constitution to extend his rule.

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Burkina Faso’s justice minister published a copy of a ministerial decree signed by Anne Guédamour from the office of Attorney General Nicole Belloubet.

Francois Compaoré was one of the most disliked figures in his brother’s former regime and is wanted in Ouagadougou, the capital, over the 1998 murder of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo.

Compaoré’s lawyer told RFI that he had not yet been informed of his client’s extradition. Nevertheless, François Henri Briard said he expected to fight any extradition attempt before the Council of State. Compaoré’s legal counsel also does not exclude the possibility of bringing a case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

France’s Supreme Court had in June 2019 rejected an appeal by Francois Compaoré against his extradition to Burkina Faso.

“We have waited 20 years, one more year doesn’t scare us,” said Robert Zongo, the journalist’s brother. Norbert was tough, our family is tough, the Burkinabe people also. Francois Compaoré can take his time, he’s coming to [Burkina] Faso, he will face justice,” he added.

Norbert Zongo was a well-known investigative journalist and head of the L’Indépendant newspaper. He was killed on 13 December 1998 while he carried out an investigation into the murder of Francois Compaoré’s driver. Zongo’s murder sparked a political crisis in the country.

Compaoré was arrested at Paris Roissy airport in October 2017 as part of an arrest warrant issued by the authorities in Ouagadougou.

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