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Habre trial not expected for three years: Senegal official

[JURIST] A three-year delay can be expected before former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre [HRW materials; JURIST news archive] is brought to trial, Senegal Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio said Tuesday following an African Union (AU) summit in Ethiopia. The delay is necessary for Senegal to establish the legal procedures required to try Habre, and to secure funding for what is expected to be an expensive and lengthy process. In July 2006, the AU assembly recommended that Habre face trial in Senegal [JURIST report], though Senegalese courts dismissed an action against Habre in 2001 [HRW case backgrounder], claiming that they lacked jurisdiction over crimes committed elsewhere. A Senegalese appeals court later refused to extradite Habre pursuant to an international arrest warrant [JURIST reports] that a Belgian court issued under its universal jurisdiction laws [HRW backgrounder].

Habre is accused of committing some 40,000 acts of murder and torture of political opponents during his rule from 1982 to 1990. He was stripped of power in 1990 and fled to Senegal, where he is now living under arrest [JURIST report]. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade agreed to try Habre [JURIST report] in Senegal last year. BBC News has more.

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