Burundi: Prosecutor Seeks Life Sentence for Former Prime Minister

9 November 2023

The public prosecutor in the trial of Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, Burundi's former prime minister, has asked a court in the country's political capital, Gitega, to sentence him to life in prison.

Bunyoni, an army general, faces nine charges, including an alleged attempt to kill President Evariste Ndayishimiye, toppling government and illegal possession of weapons.

The prosecutor also seeks 30 years in prison for Bunyoni's six co-accused, who include an intelligence official and a police commander. They are accused of being part of the conspiracy to kill the president.

The substantial trial of Bunyoni who was arrested in April began on Monday, November 6.

Bunyoni is also accused of insulting the president and Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca as well as abusing public office and destabilising the country's economy.

He denies all the charges.

Bunyoni was Burundi's prime minister from mid-2020 to September 2022, when he was sacked by President Ndayishimiye.

The former police chief and minister of internal security was reported missing days before his arrest in April on charges of undermining the internal security of the state, undermining the proper functioning of the national economy and illegal enrichment.

A close ally of former president Pierre Nkurunziza who died in 2020, Bunyoni was an influential senior figure in the ruling CNDD-FDD party.

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