A court in Burkina Faso has sentenced three former presidential guards to prison terms ranging from 10 to 30 years after finding them guilty of taking part in the 1990 murder of a student leader.

On Monday, the three elite guardsmen serving former president Blaise Compaore began their trials for the death of a student protest leader.

On May 19, 1990, Boukary Dabo was abducted by armed men and carried to the largest camp in the nation of west Africa, which was supervised by a presidential security regiment.

He was murdered there under torture and buried in Po, which is 90 miles (150 kilometers) from Ouagadougou’s metropolis.

General Gilbert Diendere was sentenced to 20 years in jail and a fine of one million francs after the court judged him “guilty of cooperation in illegal arrest and aggravated kidnapping” late on Wednesday (1,500 euros). Seven years had been requested by the prosecution.

Diendere is currently serving a life sentence for his part in the death of Thomas Sankara in the coup that installed Compaore in power in 1987.

A second defendant, colonel Mamadou Bamba, who was charged with selecting which pupils to detain, received a 10 year prison term and a fine of the same amount.

A third defendant, Sergeant Victor Magloire Yougbare, who was accused of operating the car that transported the body, was given a 30 year prison term and a five million franc fine in absentia. He is now the subject of an arrest warrant.

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Even though inquiries started in 2000, charges weren’t filed until January 2017—after a popular revolt that toppled Compaore’s government.

The police revealed that Dabo’s bones had been discovered in Po, which housed a commando force center where Compaore guards were trained, the same year.

A junta led by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba now controls Burkina Faso.

Roch Marc Christian Kabore, an elected leader who had failed to quell a jihadist insurgency, was overthrown and replaced by him in a coup in January.

Africa Today News, New York

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