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Bokassa Testifies: ‘I Am Not a Cannibal’

United Press International

Former Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa told a court Monday “I am not a cannibal.”

It was the first time since hearings began in November that the eating of human flesh during the deposed emperor’s 13-year reign was discussed in his trial on charges of murder, torture, embezzlement of state funds and cannibalism.

Bokassa was overthrown as emperor of his self-proclaimed Central African Empire in a 1979 French-backed coup led by David Dacko. He fled to France, but returned last October to “face the justice of my people.”

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Bokassa said from the defendant’s seat that clearing himself of accusations of cannibalism was one of his prime reasons for returning from exile in Paris.


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