Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/12 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/12 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 11/17 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/12 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 11/17 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/12 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 11/17 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 11/12 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Africa

France arrests former Burkina Faso president's brother over journalist's death

media François Compaoré, while his brother Blaise was still president, in Ouagadougou in 2012 AFP/Ahmed Ouoba

The brother of Burkina Faso's deposed President Blaise Compaoré was arrested at Paris's Charles De Gaulle airport on Sunday in connection with the 1998 murder of an investigative journalist. A Paris court on Monday allowed him to remain at liberty while awaiting possible extradition.

François Compaoré, 63, is wanted in Burkina Faso in connection with the deaths of journalist Norbert Zongo and three companions.

Their charred bodies were found in a burnt-out car in the south of the country.

The crusading editor of L'Indépendant newspaper had written hard-hitting articles about the Compaoré regime.

At the time of his murder he was investigating the death of François Compaoré's chauffeur.

Zongo's family have long accused François Compaoré, who was known as the "little president" during his brother's 27-year reign, of having a hand in the killings.

He stands accused of "incitement to murder", according to their lawyer, Bénéwendé Sankara.

"This arrest is purely and simply a response to the arrogance of a man who is defying justice," he told RFI.

Zongo's widow, Géneviève, said she hoped that it would finally allow her to find out the truth about her husband's death.

"Once you know who killed your husband, you are already a little reassured that justice is being done," she commented. "But when you get no answers, things are not as they should be."

Compaoré's lawyer in France, Pierre-Olivier Sur, claims that his client has been declared innocent by an international commission of inquiry and by a Burkinabé investigation.

The case is a "political manoeuvre", he said.

Campaign to find perpetrators

Press freedom campaign Reporters Without Borders tried to open a case relating to the Zongo killing against the then president when he visited Paris in 2000 but the case was dismissed.

The international inquiry identified six "serious suspects" but only one, a former presidential bodyguard, has been charged and the case against him was dismissed in 2006.

In December 2015 three former members of the presidential guard were charged in connection with the case.

Regime overturned by mass protests

Both Compaorés fled to Côte d'Ivoire after the regime was overthrown by huge demonstrations in 2014.

They took Ivorian citizenship, although François Compaoré's wife lives in France, as do three of his children..

He appeared before French magistrates on Monday and was not detained while extradition is decided on, lawyer Sur said.

"We dare to hope that the French authorities will appreciate the significance of this affair and proceed to extradition," Burkinabé public prosecutor Laurent Poda told the AFP news agency.

But opposition parties doubt the Burkina Faso government's commitment to pursuing the case, given that current President Roch Marc Kaboré was Blaise Compaoré's right-hand man before breaking with him and other former allies are still in positions of influence.

The trial of 107 people accused of involvement in a 2015 coup attempt opened in Ouagadougou last week.

Côte d'Ivoire has refused to extradite Blaise Compaoré, who is the subject of an international arrest warrant in relation to the murder of former president Thomas Sankara in 1987.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.