L’annulation de la condamnation à mort de Pierre Nkurunziza, Président de la République du Burundi: un commentaire de l’arrêt du 8 juillet 2011 de la Cour Suprême dans l’affaire RPSA 280
On 8 July 2011, the Supreme Court of Burundi annulled the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Bujumbura of 11 February 1998 which convicted to death Pierre Nkurunziza, currently President of the Republic. The analysis of the Supreme Court judgment shows, first of all, that the criminal responsibility of the Head of State is poorly regulated under Burundian law. Secondly, the paper concludes that, in all likelihood, the conviction of Pierre Nkurunziza by the Court of Appeal of Bujumbura was indeed procedurally grossly irregular. However, although seen from a procedural angle justice has been done, several reasons explain why in the general perception justice has not been seen to be done. These relate essentially to the perceived lack of independence of Burundi’s judiciary and the instrumentalisation of the judicial process to serve political interests. In fact, the procedure may well have been inspired by electoral motivations. However, our analysis also finds that the Supreme Court judgment should not prevent Burundi’s future transitional justice mechanisms from investigating the same case.
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