PARAMARIBO: A three-judge panel in Suriname today upheld the conviction of former president Desi Bouterse for his role in the December 1982 execution of 15 people in the former Dutch colony.
Bouterse, 78, who dominated Suriname’s politics for decades and left office in 2020, has denied the charges.
This was his final possible appeal and he has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The court ruled in 2019 that Bouterse oversaw an operation in which soldiers abducted 16 leading government critics, including lawyers, journalists, union leaders, soldiers and university professors from their homes.
Fifteen of them were murdered at a colonial fortress in capital Paramaribo.
One trade union leader survived and gave testimony against Bouterse.
“Those who sought justice had angelic patience,” court president Dinesh Sewratan said as he read the judgment.