Witnesses Fail to Appear in Ivory Coast Court amid Security Fears
Twelve witnesses in a mass murder trial in Ivory Coast refused to show up in court on Thursday fearing for their safety, but their testimony was read by the tribunal.
The trial of eight Ivory Coast gendarmes charged with mass murder over a grave containing 57 bodies continued for a third day to hear the testimony of the 12 remaining witnesses.
Deli Sepleu, chief of the military tribunal, began reading the testimony of those who were too afraid to appear in court.
Ten witnesses had deposed before the tribunal on Wednesday but their testimony shed no light on who was responsible for killing the 57 men last year and some bore no connection to the case.
All eight accused gendarmes have pleaded not guilty in the case relating to a grave found last year containing the bullet-riddled bodies of men thought to be supporters of opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who was barred from contesting presidential elections in October.
A subsequent UN investigation found that the role of gendarmes -- a police division of the army -- in massacring the victims "seems indisputable." -- ABIDJAN (AFP)