Suspects on trial over Guinea attack claim torture

AP News
Posted: Jan 22, 2013 8:45 AM

CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Several defendants on trial in Guinea over a brazen attack on the private residence of President Alpha Conde say authorities tortured them to extract confessions.

Conde narrowly survived an assassination attempt on July 19, 2011, after gunmen surrounded his home and pounded his bedroom with rockets. Conde, now 73, was in another room.

The trial began earlier this month. On Tuesday, defense lawyers sought to have military chiefs accused of a role in the torture testify. A day earlier, defendant Baba Alimou Barry said he'd been handcuffed, hung up from a pole and "almost died" while in custody.

Many of the 33 defendants have ties to Guinea's past two military rulers.

In 2010, Conde became the first democratically elected president in Guinea, a former French colony in West Africa.