Trial of Guinea ex-dictator Camara to resume Wednesday: lawyersTue, 20 Jun 2023 20:47:12 GMT

The trial of Guinea’s former dictator Moussa Dadis Camara for a 2009 massacre will resume on Wednesday after lawyers ended a boycott over pay that caused a three-week suspension, attorneys said.Camara and 10 other ex-military and government officials stand accused over the killing of 156 people and the rape of least 109 women by pro-junta forces at an opposition rally at a stadium in the capital Conakry.The trial began on September 28, 2022, exactly 13 years after the massacre, but has been suspended since May 29 after lawyers began a boycott, saying they had not been paid for more than eight months.They also wanted aid for their clients to pay for their defence, the creation of a fund to cover lawyers’ fees and improved working conditions in the courtroom.One of the civil parties’ lawyers, Aboubacar Sidiki Camara, on Tuesday said the authorities and a group representing lawyers in the trial had reached an agreement.”The trial will resume tomorrow,” he said.Another lawyer representing the civil parties, Alpha Amadou DS Bah, confirmed the resumption of hearings.Sidiki Camara said the authorities accepted the principle that lawyers can receive legal aid which clients can apply for.Attorneys say their clients struggle to meet costs associated with the trial.Sidiki Camara added that the authorities agreed to change the tables and chairs used by the lawyers.Victims have pinned high hopes on the trial, the first of its kind in the West African country, where authoritarian regimes have previously ruled for decades.Human Rights Watch had expressed concern that the trial’s future was in doubt over dwindling financial resources and issues bringing the process to its conclusion.