The most awaited moment since the opening in Guinea of the September 2009 massacre trial, the appearance of Moussa Dadis Camara, came to an end on Monday when the court accepted the former dictator’s request for dismissal for health reasons.
The time of the appearance arrived at the end of the morning when President Ibrahima Sory Tounkara declaimed: “Mr. Moussa Dadis Camara, come to the bar, please”.
Less than 12 minutes later, the same president pronounced the adjournment of the case to December 12, 2022 with these words: “You have one week Mr. Camara, the hearing is closed”.
In the meantime, the 57-year-old former autocrat, who made those under his wrath tremble, obsequiously pleaded for dismissal citing his health.
“With all due respect to your august tribunal – I have already informed the director of the prison guard, the head doctor of the prison guard – for a very long time I have been suffering,” Captain Camara said after having presented himself at the bar with an unsteady gait and in civilian clothes, he who never took off his uniform.
“I’m not above the law,” he said, “but in all seriousness I don’t feel absolutely (able to testify) at this time.”
The main defendant in this historic trial vaguely mentioned “the malaria I had, a total weakening”, and hinted that he preferred not to extend.
“The court cannot force you to say or do what you do not want to do (…) If you say that you cannot (give evidence), the court will follow you”, said the president before announce dismissal.
Captain Camara has been responding since September 28, 2022 with a dozen former military and government officials to the massacre perpetrated 13 years earlier to the day.
Captain Camara, brought to power by a coup nine months earlier, was president that day and the following days when the red berets of his guard, soldiers, police and militiamen murdered in a stadium in Conakry and around Dozens of people gathered to dissuade him from running for president scheduled for January 2010. Dozens of women were raped, individuals kidnapped and tortured, many bodies stolen away.
Dismissed a few months after the massacre, then exiled to Burkina Faso, he was imprisoned after returning for the trial.