Francois Compaore, brother of former Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore, was left free Monday in France awaiting the examination of a request for extradition of Burkina Faso in the investigation into the assassination of a journalist in 1998, announced his lawyer Pierre-Olivier Sur.
François Compaore, 63, was arrested on Sunday at Paris Roissy airport on his return from Abidjan under an international arrest warrant issued by Burkina Faso.
Ivorian citizen residing in France with his family, he was left free under judicial supervision, said his lawyer. “He must warn when traveling abroad,” he added, in the presence of his client when they left the courthouse in Paris at midday.
“The justice considered that it was not necessary to give to this mandate the coercive aspect which it claimed,” said Mr. Sur.
According to him, “Burkina has yet to duly argue a request for extradition”.
“I think that Burkina Faso is misusing legal proceedings to stigmatize a man guilty of calling himself Compaoré,” said Pierre-Olivier Sur, who asserts that “similar facts in France would be prescribed”, so not prosecuted.
One of the most unpopular characters in the twenty-seven years of the Compaoré regime, this younger brother has been sought by Burkinabè justice since May in the context of the investigation into the murder of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo and three companions. December 13, 1998.
François Compaoré is being prosecuted for “incitement to killings”, according to a lawyer of the Zongo family, Me Bénéwendé Sankara.
Norbert Zongo, author of several resounding investigations denouncing the bad governance under the Compaoré regime, was working at the time of his assassination on the death of the driver of François Compaoré, then economic adviser of his brother and nicknamed the “little president”.
Francois Compaore was once charged with “murder and receiving a corpse” after the death of his driver, but had never been prosecuted in the Zongo case before the warrant was issued.
He “has been heard three times by the international commission of inquiry and three other times by a court of inquiry in Burkina, and each of these two procedures has exonerated him” in this case, argues his lawyer.
He fled the country during the popular uprising of October 2014 and obtained Ivorian nationality at the same time as his brother.
In December 2015, three former soldiers of the Presidential Security Regiment ( RSP ), the former presidential guard of President Compaoré – dissolved after his coup attempt in mid-September 2015 – were indicted by the Burkinabè justice in this case .