Bouterse also sought 20 years in prison on appeal for the December murder

Bouterse also sought 20 years in prison on appeal for the December murder

The Suriname Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) has once again sought a 20-year prison sentence for former President Desi Bouterse for his involvement in the 1982 murder of fifteen political dissidents.

The prosecution has now made it clear that Bouterse should be imprisoned if convicted. This “bondage” was not expressly expressed by the judiciary.

Bouterse was still president during his previous conviction in 2019. He was also sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the December murders. He resisted the military court, which gave the same sentence in 2021, but did not call for his arrest. The case has been on appeal since July.

The court is expected to make a decision later this year. Bouterse is currently the leader of the main opposition party in Suriname.

Bouterse has always denied involvement in the December murders. He believes he is only politically responsible, as he became the commander of the military in 1982. Bouterse describes the case as politically motivated without exception.

On the first day of appeal in late July last year, Bouterse said a series of exculpatory statements about himself were not included in the original decision. He also denied his intentions in the murders. According to the former leader, the victims were planning a coup and were shot by soldiers while fleeing.

Back to Fort Zeelandia

In late November, Bouterse visited Fort Zeelandia, the site of the murders, as a suspect for the first time. The court held a hearing here in the hope of reminding the defendants and witnesses of the case. Bouterse said he tried to “remember” the issue after the trial.

You can also check out the retrospective of the December murders below:

Source: NOS