The high court in Suriname says the trial of President Desi Bouterse in the killings of 15 political opponents in 1982 must resume despite an amnesty law in the South American country.

Bouterse and allies from his time as a dictator in the 1980s avoided trial until 2007 on charges stemming from the summary execution of 15 prominent political opponents. The former strongman returned to power in 2010 when he was elected president by parliament. Two years later, lawmakers passed an amnesty law and proceedings were put on hold.

The Court of Justice has now ruled in favor of a challenge to the law and ordered the attorney general to resume the trial. Lawyers for the plaintiffs announced the verdict Tuesday. The president's office declined comment.