Niger’s Military Junta revokes immunity of deposed President Bazoum

Niger’s democratically elected President who was overthrown by the military a year ago can now lose his immunity from prosecution, that country’s top court has ruled.

That decision by the newly created body clears the way for Mohamed Bazoum, 64, to be tried by a Military Court.

He and his wife Hadiza have been detained in the Presidential Palace without access to telephone since the coup last July.

Since then, Niger’s new military leaders have brought in drastic policy changes including severing defence and diplomatic ties with former colonial power France and moving towards Russia.

The ruling junta in the capital, Niamey, has been legally empowered to prosecute him on charges of treason, undermining national security and financing terrorism.

Bazoum’s lawyers have called the process a “travesty” and withdrew from a hearing last week.

They say they have not been able to meet their client face to face.

“I don’t even know if President Bazoum is aware of the lifting of his immunity,” the former President’s communications adviser Hamid N’Gade told the AFP news agency.

“We only get news about him from his Doctor who sees him twice a week. No-one knows how he is coping psychologically,” he added.

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