the court takes a position on the two statements

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On the eighth day of the Bouaké bombing, the court on Thursday examined the identification and statements of the three accused, Belarusian Yury Sushkin and Ivorians Patrice Ouei and Ange Gnanduillet Attualy, suspected of having pilot and co-pilot Sukhois during the attack. . In the absence of defendants in the box, the President read the statements of the Ivorian officers heard in November 2005 by an Ivorian military tribunal, in an international rogatory commission signed by his French counterpart.

With our special correspondent at the courthouse in Paris, Laura Martel

Lieutenant Gnanduillet Attualy’s hearing takes place. He admits to having “been part of the mission sent to Bouaké”, according to him, “to deal with rebel areas”. Hence his “surprise”, he said, to see Sukhoi destroyed on landing, only to learn that they were accused of the raid. “We did not mind the French and we were not ordered to bomb their position. If there are injuries, it can only be unintentional, he says.

Lieutenant Colonel Ouei first questioned that he had been on board the Sukhois and claimed that he was taken from his duties as chief fighter pilots. He is categorical: “no one ordered to shoot at the French canton” neither he nor Colonel Mangou from whom he “received orders”, he said. According to him, the pilots “knew the place of the impartial forces” and “had no objective reason to attack the French”, who “were not their enemies”.

Like his subordinates, he emphasizes the closeness between the rebel targets and the French grip. “If the precision was not clear, it is by mistake,” he claims, before adding: “I consider these events an accident, we are all equipped with intelligence, our troops were on their way to victory when this unfortunate event happened. is our pilot’s fact, we regret it, it was neither our mission nor our intention. ”

The two men, who were targeted by an arrest warrant from January 2006, benefited from an amnesty law in their country in 2007. The third accused, the Belarusian Yury Shuskin, formally identified as a pilot, and who did well as part of the group arrested in Togo, was released then due to lack of French reaction, was then never found. As for the second mercenary pilot, his identity could not be clearly established.

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