Paris summons Burundi envoy over jailing

28th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

France said it summoned Burundi's ambassador Thursday to protest about suspected irregularities in the trial of a Frenchman sentenced to 25 years in jail for rape in the central African country.

The French foreign ministry "summoned Burundi's ambassador in France (Gaspar Musavyarabona) to express our strong concern after the rape conviction in Burundi of one of our nationals," its spokesman Bernard Valero said.

"We have particular queries about inconsistencies in the case and serious lapses of procedure," Valero said.

Patrice Faye, 58, was sentenced at a closed-door trial on Monday for raping five teenage girls who were students at a school he set up for poor children. He was ordered to pay 14,000 euros ($20,000) in damages to the victims.

He had denied the charges and said he would appeal. In a letter to AFP in May, Faye said a doctor had confirmed that three of his accusers were still virgins and that one had signed an apology for "false declarations".

"France expects the authorities of a friendly country to respect liberties and good governance," Valero said. "That is what the ambassador was told."

© 2011 AFP

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