Mr Thomas was assassinated on October 15, 1987, during a coup led by his friend and comrade-in-arms, Mr Compaoré. The long-awaited verdict on Wednesday brought to a close a six-month trial about his murder.
Mr Compaoré, who was on trial with 13 others in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, was given a 30-year sentence by military prosecutors.
Two other main suspects were also sentenced to life in prison. Gilbert Diendéré, one of the leaders of the 1987 coup and the leader of the 2015 coup, and Hyacinthe Kafando, the leader of Mr Compaoré’s guards at the time, are the two men in question.
Eight other accused were given jail terms ranging from three to 20 years, while three defendants were acquitted in the death of Thomas Sankara.
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After being deposed in a 2014 uprising, Mr Compaoré fled to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire, where he was granted citizenship. He, like Mr. Kafando, was tried in his absence, but he is not in custody like Mr. Diendéré.
Who is Thomas Sankara?
Mr. Thomas Sankara, a pan-Africanist leader who came to power in 1983, was assassinated along with 12 other government officials when he was 37 years old.
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Mr Compaoré succeeded him and ruled until his overthrow in 2014. The death of the left-wing icon remained shrouded in mystery throughout Compaore’s 27-year reign.
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