Suriname's pardoned president defends new amnesty

Published April 5, 2012 10:18PM (EDT)

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Suriname's president is defending the passage of an amnesty that will end his long-running murder trial.

President Desi Bouterse says the amnesty will be a "new beginning" that will help the South American country move on from the violence of the 1980s.

Bouterse spoke briefly Thursday to The Associated Press as he visited neighboring Guyana.

Suriname's National Assembly has approved an amnesty that covers crimes committed under Bouterse's military dictatorship in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Bouterse has been on trial with 24 associates on charges tied to the abduction and killing 15 political opponents in December 1982.

By Salon Staff

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