Niger’s top court removes president Bazoum’s immunity

Niger’s highest court lifted President Mohamed Bazoum’s immunity on Friday, clearing the path for potential legal proceedings following his removal in a military coup in July 2023.

“The court orders the lifting of Mohamed Bazoum’s immunity,” said Abdou Dan Galadima, president of the court, created in November by the new military regime.

Authorities in Niger have accused Bazoum of treason, financing terrorism, and conspiring to destabilize the state. Since the coup on July 26, Bazoum and his wife Hadiza have been under house arrest at the presidential residence.

Following the court’s decision, Bazoum’s legal team, represented by Ould Salem Mohamed, acknowledged the ruling and indicated that a formal statement would be issued shortly.

Among the allegations, Bazoum is accused of seeking international support through phone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, purportedly in an effort to secure armed intervention during the coup.

The court proceedings had faced delays, with Bazoum’s lawyers citing numerous challenges to their client’s right to a fair defense.

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