The first large-scale trial by General Ramanantsoa's government in the Malagasy Republic has ended, after 17 1/2 hours of sessions in the Capital, Tananarive.
GV EXT. Court House
LV People arrive
SCU Soldiers check papers as people enter
CU People enter
SCU PAN INT. Court-room TO accused beneath
SCU Mr. Manandafy with another accused Jaonmanana
SCU PAN Advocate & Manandafy (2 shots)
SV & CU Crowd of accused leave court (3 shots)
Initials SGM/1530 SGM/1551
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Background: The first large-scale trial by General Ramanantsoa's government in the Malagasy Republic has ended, after 17 1/2 hours of sessions in the Capital, Tananarive. Sixty four left-wing militant were charged with planning an illegal demonstration. Among them was sociologist Manandafy Rakotonirina, who is general secretary of the M.F.M. (Power to the People) Party.
The persecution sought a verdict of guilty, and said the accused had, in fact, admitted having taken part in an illegal demonstration on May 13 -- the first anniversary of the Popular Movement, which brought down the previous regime. The defence argued that the accused were involved in the struggle to liberate the people, and should not be in court.
On the days of the trial (June 19 and 20), the strictest-ever security measures were taken at the Palace of Justice. The area was cordoned off by police, gendarmes, and paratroops -- in battle dress, and armed with shields and sticks. Early on the morning of June 19, crowds began gathering outside the Palace of Justice. They were mainly supporters and relatives of the accused. However, there was no violence.