Chad's former dictator Hissene Habre was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, and sex crimes during his time in power, Judge Gberdao Gustave Kam said Monday, ending the trial that began in July 2015. Whoops of joy and tears greeted the judge's ruling from scores of Habre's prisoners and their supporters who hugged each other in the courtroom, the AP reports. On the other hand, Habre's supporters cheered him as he walked calmly out of court surrounded by heavy security. He extended his hands to his supporters and then pumped his fist in the air as they shouted and clapped for him.
Habre was convicted of being responsible for thousands of deaths and torture in prisons during his rule from 1982 to 1990. A 1992 Chadian Truth Commission accused Habre's government of systematic torture, saying that 40,000 people died during his rule. It placed particular blame on his political police force. Habre's trial was by the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Senegalese courts that was formed by Senegal and the African Union. It is the first trial in which the courts of one country prosecuted the former ruler of another for alleged human rights crimes. More than 90 witnesses testified. Habre's lawyer Mounir Ballal said he will appeal the verdict. He has 15 days. (Read more crimes against humanity stories.)