This Monday, the Court of Assizes of Bamako ordered, without a verdict, the discontinuation of proceedings against Amadou Sanogo, the putschist of 2012. He was charged with the murder of 21 elements of the elite troop, the « red berets ».
General Amadou Sanogo and his fifteen co-accused released in January 2020, after 6 years of detention, in the case of the murder of 21 elements of the « red berets » will benefit from the cessation of proceedings against them. « On the basis of the law of understanding and the memorandum of understanding signed between the government of the Republic and the victims, the court orders that the action be extinguished against the accused, that they be immediately released if no other charges are brought against them. This is how Gaoussou Sanou, the president of the Court of Assizes, expressed himself on Monday.
This decision, rendered without a verdict, is based on the reconciliation law adopted in 2019, which amnesties specific crimes committed in Mali during the 2012 crisis. The defence does not hide its satisfaction with the court’s decision. « Mali does not need a trial that will lead to assassinations, to atrocities. The country has understood and the country has taken a law of national understanding which has just been applied. Laws are made to be applied. I thank everyone, especially the judges who had the courage to make this decision, » said Tiesolo Konaré, Amadou Sanogo’s lawyer.
On the other hand, the civil party is dismayed. « To release Amadou Sanogo who massacred people, kidnapped women and raped them. It is a disgrace. This date must be inscribed in the history of Mali. I will take the matter to international justice. There, the law will be said », Amina Soumaré said.
Even before the hearing, the president of the National Human Rights Commission, Aguibou Bouaré, had opined in a video published on the website of his structure: « It is essential that the trial is completed, that the rights of the victims to full reparation are respected, a law of national accord cannot be invoked to ensure impunity (…) Mali does not need such injustice, such impunity, which really marks a profound step backwards in terms of respect and protection of human rights.
By clearing this case, the Malian justice system is ridding the government of a case that has long embarrassed it, unless the civil party decides to appeal.
It should be recalled that Captain Amadou Sanogo is the man of the March 2012 coup that ended the regime of Amadou Toumani Toure. He remained at the head of state for a few days before handing over, under international pressure, to an interim President, Diocounda Traoré, on 12 April 2012. On 14 August 2013, Amadou Sanogo was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.