By ABAKAR SALEH Associated Press Writer
N’DJAMENA, Chad, Nov 06, 2003 (AP) — A firing squad executed four men on Thursday who were convicted of murdering a Sudanese businessman, a human rights official said.
Mahamat Adam Issa, Moubarak Bakhit Abderahmane, Abderahamane Hamid Haroun and Adouma Ali Ahmat, were shot at around 10 a.m. at an undisclosed location outside N’djamena, the capital, said Jean Padre, vice president of the Chadian League of Human Rights.
The four were sentenced by a criminal court on Oct. 25 for the murder of Sheik Ibn Oumar Idriss Youssouf, the executive director of the privately owned Chad Petroleum Company.
Youssouf was shot and killed in N’djamena a month earlier.
A special session of the criminal court was held to hear the murder case, and the men did not have the right to appeal.
Padre condemned the execution, describing it as "very worrying."
"We believe we are in a police state. We didn’t give the suspects a chance to appeal," he said.
It was not immediately possible to contact government officials for comment.
Youssouf’s murder caused a scandal in Chad, a vast, landlocked country in the heart of Africa, which is keen to attract foreign investors and joined the ranks of oil exporting states on Oct. 10.
ExxonMobil is leading a consortium which is pumping oil through a 1,070-kilometer (663-mile) pipeline in southern Chad to a port in neighboring Cameroon.
The Chad Oil Company has no connection to that project, and has been contracted by the government to pump oil from fields in the northwest and build a refinery in N’djamena to produce oil for domestic consumption only.
One of the men convicted, Ahmat, was a former director at Chad Petroleum Company.