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.”


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.