Burkina Faso’s former president, Blaise Compaore was on Wednesday sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by a military tribunal for complicity in the 1987 murder of his predecessor, Thomas Sankara .

Sankara was gunned down in a military coup in the West African nation’s capital, Ouagadougou at the age of 37, four years after he took power in a previous coup. He was killed along 12 other members of his government.

Two of Compaore’s former top associates, Hyacinthe Kafando and Gilbert Diendere, were also sentenced to life imprisonment.

All three had previously denied involvement in Sankara’s death along with eleven other defendants accused of involvement in the plot. Three of the eleven were declared innocent and the rest received prison terms of between three and 20 years.

Compaore was found guilty of an attack on state security, complicity in murder and concealment of a corpse, the tribunal said in its ruling.

He went on to rule Burkina Faso for 27 years before being ousted in another coup in 2014. He fled to Ivory Coast where he is widely believed to still be living.