April 5, 2012
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The trial of Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo concluded on April 5. A verdict will likely be issued within the next week.

The trial of Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo Alo, a prominent human rights defender and opposition party leader, took place on April 4 and 5 in Bata. Dr. Mansogo and the anesthesiologist who works with him have both been charged with professional negligence and mutilation of a body, following the death of a patient during surgery.

The trial appears to have been conducted properly and both the prosecution and defense were allowed to present their cases. Representatives from the diplomatic community were present at the trial, including the US Charge d’Affaires and the Spanish Consul in Bata. In their testimonies, Dr. Mansogo, the anesthesiologist, and several independent medical professionals all agreed that the patient’s cause of death was a heart attack not associated with medical malpractice, as the prosecution alleges.

The three judge panel that heard the proceedings will likely issue the verdict in the next week. The prosecution has requested a three year prison sentence for Dr. Mansogo and a six month prison sentence for the anesthesiologist. The defense has asked for freedom without charges for both defendants.

Dr. Mansogo has been detained in Bata Central Prison since February 9. Amnesty International considers Dr. Mansogo a prisoner of conscience. He is the Secretary of Human Rights and International Affairs for the Convergence for Social Democracy party (CPDS). CPDS is the only legitimate opposition party in Equatorial Guinea with representation in parliament and its members are frequently harassed and detained. In November 2011, another member of CPDS, Marcial Abaga Barril, was detained for 3 days before being released without charge.

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