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Equatorial Guinea president says coup plotters had fair trial

Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang said Friday that last month's trial of four men sentenced to death for a 2009 attack on the presidential palace was fair. Obiang stated that the country's laws were respected, and procedures guaranteeing a legal, open and fair trial [AFP report], including the guarantee of defense counsel, were followed. Jose Abeso Nsue, Manuel Ndong Anseme, Alipio Ndong Asumu and Jacinto Micha Obiang, all government employees, were executed immediately after being convicted by a military court in Malabo on August 21. Both former colonial power Spain, and the US, condemned the executions.

Last week, the government of Equatorial Guinea defended [JURIST report] the execution of the four men. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] had condemned the executions [press release], claiming that the four men were detained in Black Beach prison in Malabo where they were tortured into giving false confessions. Denouncing the government's judicial procedures, AI reported that these men were convicted after an unfair trial, sentenced to death and executed without having an opportunity to appeal their sentence. AI urged Equatorial Guinea to put an end to the abductions, torture and executions it carries out in the name of justice. The government stands by the conviction [JURIST report] of the four former government officials, stating that they received a fair and open trial before a military tribunal and were provided with counsel.

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