From exile to appeal: Key dates since Habre fled Chad

From exile to appeal: Key dates since Habre fled Chad©AFP
Hissene Habre
1 min 34Approximate reading time

Key dates in Chad since the overthrow of former dictator Hissene Habre to his appeal against a life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity alleged to have occurred between 1982 and 1990:

- Exile in Senegal -

- Dec. 11, 1990: Habre is overthrown by rebel troops led by Idriss Deby and flees to Senegal where he gets political asylum. His regime is accused by rights groups of brutally repressing, torturing or killing opponents since 1982.

- Investigation -

- May 21, 1992: A Chadian commission of inquiry says Habre's regime killed more than 40,000 people, many of them political opponents and from rival ethnic groups.

- Charges -

- Jan. 27, 2000: Seven Chadians file suit against Habre in Dakar for crimes against humanity and acts of torture. A judicial inquiry is opened.

- Feb. 3, 2000: Habre is charged with "complicity in acts of torture" by a Senegalese judge.

- November 2000: Chadians living in Belgium file charges against Habre in Brussels.

- Nov. 15, 2005: Habre is detained in Dakar after Belgium issues an international arrest warrant against him for crimes against humanity. Senegal's Appeals Court says it has no jurisdiction to rule on the extradition request and he is freed.

- Sentenced in Chad -

- Aug. 15, 2008: Habre and 11 rebel leaders are sentenced to death in absentia in Chad for "attacking the security of the state" in a trial distinct from the one in Dakar.

- June 25, 2012: New Senegalese President Macky Sall says Habre will be tried in Senegal and rules out his extradition.

- Special tribunal -

- Aug. 22, 2012: Senegal and the African Union sign an accord setting up a special court, the Extraordinary African Chambers, in Dakar.

- Arrested and charged -

- June 30, 2013: Habre is arrested and charged by the special court with torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Judges order that he be held pending trial.

- Trial -

- July 20, 2015: Habre's trial opens in Dakar. He refuses to recognise the court's authority and to answer or defend himself.

- Verdict -

- May 30, 2016: Habre gets a life sentence for war crimes, crimes against humanity and a slew of other charges, including rape. The verdict marks the first time a country has convicted a former leader of another nation for rights abuses.

- July 29, 2016: He is ordered to pay up to 30,000 euros ($33,000) to each victim who suffered rape, arbitrary detention and imprisonment during his rule, as well as to their relatives.

- Appeal -

- Jan. 9, 2017: Court-appointed lawyers acting for Habre begin an appeal against his sentence. The verdict is set for April 27.