On 27 April 2017, the Court in Dakar, Senegal, rejected Hissein Habré’s appeal and confirmed his trial conviction for crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder and torture.
The Appeals Chamber upheld the life sentence decided by the Trial Chamber for the former President of Chad, and confirmed the amounts and types of reparations decided by the Trial Chamber, to be granted to 7,396 victims.
The Appeals Chamber was satisfied that the Trial Chamber demonstrated that Hissein Habré exercised effective control over the troops, since he had the material capacity to prevent and punish their actions. With regard to command responsibility, the Court highlights that the hierarchical relationship between the superior and his or her subordinates does not need to be direct or immediate for the superior to exercise effective control, and be responsible for the actions of his or her subordinates. However, the Appeals Chamber notes that it was under the Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE) that the Trial Chamber found Hissein Habré liable, and not for the responsibility of commanders or other superiors. According to the Appeals Chamber, the conclusions of the Trial Chamber on the responsibility of Mr. Habré under the JCE were not specifically challenged by the Defence, and are therefore confirmed by the Court.
The Appeals Chamber finally acquitted the appellant on the charge of direct rape. It found that the Trial Chamber exceeded its power to re-characterize the crimes by convicting the accused for a crime that was not included in the indictment. However, this partial reversal of the Trial Judgment had no impact on the final sentence, in view of the exceptional magnitude and gravity of the facts of which the Accused had been found guilty.