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  Suriname president guilty of murder over 1982 executions
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Nov 30, 2019 10:29am
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CategoryLegal Ruling
News DateSaturday, November 30, 2019 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionA court in Suriname has convicted the country’s president, Desi Bouterse, of murder for the execution of 15 opponents in 1982 following a coup. The man who has dominated the former Dutch colony’s recent history was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Opposition parties called for the resignation of Bouterse, who was in China on an official visit when the sentence was handed down on Friday.

Bouterse was expected to return to Suriname on Saturday or Sunday, skipping a planned trip to Cuba, the vice-president of his National Democratic party told the local newspaper De Ware Tijd. Ramon Abrahams told the paper he was in phone contact with Bouterse and called an emergency meeting of the party.

Bouterse led the South American country through the 1980s as head of a military government, then assumed office again in 2010 and secured re-election five years later.

The court ruled that Bouterse had overseen an operation in which soldiers under his command abducted 16 leading government critics – including lawyers, journalists and university teachers – and killed 15 of them at a colonial fortress in the capital, Paramaribo. One trade union leader survived and later gave evidence against Bouterse.

Bouterse has steadfastly denied the charges and is able to appeal against the decision.
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