Coup plot

07/09/2011
Coup plot

Two half-brothers of Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe and 30 others went on trial Tuesday over an alleged 2009 coup plot despite a walkout by defence lawyers who requested more time.

Kpatcha Gnassingbe is accused of being the mastermind of the plot targeting his half-brother.

A second half-brother, Essolizam Gnassingbe, as well as the ex-head of the armed forces, Assani Tidjani, are also among the accused at the supreme court trial.

Defence lawyers asked for more time, with all members of the defence team not present in court, but the judge declined their request for a postponement and the lawyers left the courtroom.

The proceedings continued without them, with Essolizam Gnassingbe taking the stand and pleading his innocence.

"I do not recognise the facts that I have been accused of," he said.

The suspects are accused of attempted violation of state security, criminal conspiracy and rebellion, among others, and face up to life in prison.

The case opened on September 1 and was almost immediately adjourned at the request of defense lawyers, who asked for more time to study the case.

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