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Pressure is mounting to imprison Surinam’s former leader

Pressure is mounting to imprison Surinam’s former leader

Pressure is mounting to imprison Surinam’s former leader

Pressure is mounting to imprison Surinam’s former leader

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  • The 74-year-old was found guilty of ordering the extrajudicial killing of 15 political opponents.
  • Bouterse has subsequently filed an appeal against the verdict.
  • The penalty is scheduled to be decided by the court later this year.
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Prosecutors in Suriname have requested the High Court of Justice to preserve former President Desi Bouterse’s 20-year prison sentence.

In 2019, the 74-year-old was found guilty of ordering the extrajudicial killing of 15 political opponents four decades earlier.

Bouterse has subsequently filed an appeal against the verdict and cannot be detained until the procedure is completed.

The penalty is scheduled to be decided by the court later this year.

Bouterse has denied any knowledge of the executions. He claims the victims, who included lawyers, union leaders, and journalists, were shot while attempting to flee a colonial-era fortification in Paramaribo, the South American country’s capital.

The former leader’s appeal hearing is presently underway and is anticipated to go until the end of March, following which the High Court will announce its verdict on the punishment.

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Bouterse recently admitted in court that he heard gunshots on the day the convicts were executed, but he argued that he did not order their execution.

He has instead placed the killings on his subordinate, Paul Bhagwandas, who died in 1996. Witnesses, however, confirmed that Bouterse was present when the victims were murdered.

The assassinations occurred in 1982, seven years after Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands. Bouterse’s lawyers previously claimed that the victims were working with the Dutch, France, and the US to depose him.

Bouterse was the de facto leader of Suriname during the 1980s as the head of a military government.

He was elected president in 2010, following a democratic election, and was re-elected in 2015. He held the position until 2020 when his party lost power.

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