A court in northern Burundi presided over Judge Marie-Goreth Ndayishimiye on Sunday sentenced two men and a woman to 30 years in prison for an attack and plot against President Evariste Ndayishimiye
According to the prosecution, three stones were thrown from a petrol station at the convoy of about 50 vehicles as it drove through the northern town of Kayanza last Wednesday.
One stone hit a member of the presidential guard, another hit a windshield of one of the cars, and another did not hit anything.
The prosecutor requested the court in Kayanza province to jail the three to seven years for causing insecurity for the president, but the court decided to convict them of trying to kill him and sentenced each of them to 30 years in prison, local radio station Isanganiro reported.
The three, who were employed at Engen petrol station in Kayanza town, were accused of stoning the convoy from their work place when Mr Ndayishimiye visited the area last Wednesday.
They denied the charge or seeing who threw them.
The accused, two petrol pump attendants and a mechanic, were initially charged with “breach of public safety and not alerting the concerned services that the head of state was in danger.” According to AFP.
However during her ruling, announced the court had “decided to reclassify the charge as ‘an attack and plot against the head of state'”.
“This has confirmed that the Burundian government remains paranoid about such plots, and it is one of the first stains on the image of the new president and his slogan of fair justice,” an African diplomat said on condition of anonymity. the AFP reported