Ivorian leader's death - officers charged

2012-10-01 22:19
Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. (File, AFP)

Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. (File, AFP)

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Abidjan - A military court in Abidjan on Monday charged four senior officers over the 2002 assassination of former junta leader Robert Guei, a prosecutor said.

The four were all senior officers under Laurent Gbagbo, the ex-president who was ousted last year after months of deadly strife sparked by his refusal to concede defeat in a 2010 election.

Robert Guei, who came to power in a Christmas eve coup in 1999 before losing to Gbagbo in polls the following year, was killed in unclear circumstances - as were his wife and interior minister - on 19 September, 2002.

Ivory Coast's four-year civil war that effectively split the country in two started that day as troops from the north mutinied in a coup attempt that eventually failed.

"Four Ivorian officers were charged over Robert Guei's assassination," military prosecutor Ange Kassi told AFP.

Major Anselme Seka Yapo was charged with murder and three others officers, including a general, with complicity.

Seka Yapo was in charge of ex-first-lady Simone Gbagbo's security and was arrested in October 2011.

He has been suspected of links to death squads and been investigated in connection with the 2004 disappearance of a French-Canadian journalist.

Guei had disputed the 2000 election results, and Gbagbo later accused him of having plotted the coup that failed in 2002. Guei's followers accused Gbagbo's regime of killing their leader.

When he was still president, Laurent Gbagbo promised to investigate the murky circumstances behind Guei's death but never kept his word.

Guei's party was allied to that of Gbagbo's arch foe and current president, Alassane Ouattara.

Read more on:    laurent gbagbo  |  ivory coast  |  west africa
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