A Guinean soldier wanted over the massacre of more than 150 people in a Conakry stadium has been extradited, ending years on the run in neighbouring Senegal and paving the way for his trial.
Aboubakar Sidiki Diakite, also known as Toumba Diakite, was an aide de camp to Guinean coup leader Dadis Camara when 157 people were killed in September 2009 at an opposition rally.
Witnesses reported presidential guards firing on the crowd, beating and arresting opposition leaders, and raping dozens of women in the stadium.
Two months later, Diakite shot Camara after a dispute over responsibility for the massacre, then fled. Both men are accused of ordering the killings.
Diakite was extradited on a commercial flight on Sunday night, his Senegalese lawyer Baba Diop told AFP.
Diop complained the move was “beyond the legal scope” of the courts and Senegal’s President Macky Sall, who approved the transfer on February 10.
The Guinean government said in a statement Monday that it welcomed Diakite’s arrival, which it said it had “wanted and ordered”.
Arrested in Dakar on December 16, Diakite caused a sensation in the local press after it was revealed he had lived unnoticed in a quiet suburb of the city for five years after changing his identity and appearance.
Asmaou Diallo, president of a victims’ association, said on Monday the extradition showed “Guinean justice is willing to tackle impunity in Guinea and to organise (a) credible trial”, adding that victims had already waited seven years to see Diakite in court.
Camara, Diakite’s commander, took power by force in 2008 after the death of longtime leader Lansana Conte and ruled until the attempt on his life. He survived and remains in exile in Burkina Faso.
Guinea has since returned to civilian rule.
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