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Source: The Independent

Former president of Chad Hissene Habre has been found guilty of crimes against humanity, rape and sexual slavery.

Habre has been sentenced to life in prison by an African Union-backed court in Senegal.Hissene Habre.jpg

The Special African Chamber found him to be directly responsible for the executions that took place while he was president from 1982 to 1990.

Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam delivered the verdict and sentence Monday in a packed courtroom.

The landmark trial is the first in which the courts of one country are prosecuting the former ruler of another for human rights crimes.

More than 90 witnesses came face-to-face with Habre, accusing him of war crimes.

"This is not a trial, this is a masquerade!" the dictator shouted as he was taken away by prison guards before the trial began without him.

"There is no trial. There are no lawyers. This is a false trial. Down with colonialism."

In 1992, the Chadian Truth Commission accused Habre's government of systematic torture, saying 40,000 people had died during his rule and placing particular blame on his political police force.

Habre was first indicted by a Senegalese judge in 2000, but legal twists and turns over a decade saw the case go to Belgium and then finally back to Senegal after unwavering pursuit by the survivors and their supporters.

The verdict marks the end of a 16-year battle by victims and rights campaigners to bring him to justice in Senegal, where he fled after being toppled in a 1990 coup.

A court in Chad sentenced him to death in absentia for crimes against humanity in 2013.

He has been given 15 days to appeal.

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