France releases brother of ex-Burkina president Compaore

PARIS (Reuters) - A court in Paris on Monday released the younger brother of former Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore pending consideration of a request by the Burkinabe government to have him extradited, his lawyer and a judicial source said.

Police detained Francois Compaore at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Sunday on an international arrest warrant related to the 1998 murder of Norbert Zongo, who published Burkina Faso’s Independent newspaper.

The killing of Zongo, who had been investigating the murder of a driver who worked for Francois Compaore, became a symbol of repression during Blaise Compaore’s 27-year rule, which ended in 2014 at the hands of a popular uprising.

Francois Compaore is barred from leaving France until a court examines an extradition request by Burkina Faso’s government, said a judicial source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Compaore’s lawyer Pierre-Olivier Sur said the charges against his client are politically motivated by a Burkinabe government unable to try Blaise Compaore, whom the government of neighboring Ivory Coast refuses to extradite.

Blaise Compaore fled to Ivory Coast during the uprising. He faces an international arrest warrant in connection with the 1987 murder of former President Thomas Sankara.

Activists are pushing President Roch Marc Christian Kabore to aggressively pursue cases of past human rights abuses. Critics say his government has been too slow to move against former government members, some of whom serve in the current administration.

Reporting By Simon Carraud and Myriam Rivet; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Peter Graff and Janet Lawrence