On June 12, 1987, Jean-Bédel Bokassa was sentenced to death by his homeland, the Central African Republic. Bokassa had ruled as President of the CAR from 1966 through 1976 when he declared himself Emperor. Bokassa was overthrown by French special forces in 1979 when they intervened in their former colony amidst reports of murder, embezzlement, and cannibalism. Bokassa was eventually pardoned for his crimes by a later president of the CAR in an gesture of national healing. He lived out his life with his (about) 17 wives and 50 children.