Guinea’s former dictator, Moussa Dadis Camara, denied responsibility when he took the stand on Monday at a trial of officials implicated in a 2009 massacre.
Camara and 10 other former military and government officials are accused of the killing of 156 people and the rape of at least 109 women by forces supporting the military government at a political rally in a Conakry stadium in September 2009.
They face charges ranging from murder to sexual violence, kidnappings, arson and looting. Camara himself is charged with “personal criminal responsibility and command responsibility”.
Reports also show that women were specifically targeted by Guinean soldiers. Witnesses said that four women were shot dead after being sexually assaulted.
Presiding Judge, Ibrahima Sory Tounkara, reminded Camara of the charges the court had brought against him.
“And to the question to know whether you recognise them, you replied in the negative,” Tounkara said.
“Absolutely,” Camara replied before launching into a long monologue evoking philosophers, Heraclitus and Immanuel Kant, along with the Egyptian pharaohs.
Camara’s deposition was a key moment that survivors and relatives of the victims had been waiting for since the trial that opened on September 28, 13 years to the day after the massacre.
Proceedings in the trial were postponed until today from a week ago after Camara said he was too ill to give testimony.