Accessibility links

Breaking News

Former Chad Strongman Habre Carried Into Court

Security personnel surround former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre inside the court, in Dakar, Senegal, July 20, 2015.

Security officers carried former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre into court Monday after he refused to take part in his trial on war crimes charges.

Guards then had to physically restrain the 72-year-old Habre as he thrashed about in his seat and shouted abuse at the court as the indictment against him was read.

Habre's government is accused of being responsible for about 40,000 deaths during his eight-year rule in Chad, beginning in 1982.

He is being tried in Senegal, where he lived in exile for more than 20 years after being toppled by a 1990 coup.

After a long campaign by victims and human rights groups, Senegal created the Extraordinary African Chambers in 2013 to put him on trial.

Habre faces charges of war crimes and torture in addition to crimes against humanity. He could be imprisoned for up to 40 years if convicted.

Habre refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the court. His trial opened July 20 but was adjourned after two days when his lawyers refused to appear.

The court appointed new lawyers to represent him and gave them 45 days to prepare his case.