Ivory Coast trial of soldiers starts

2012-10-02 20:33
Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. (File, AFP)

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

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Abidjan - The first major trial opened on Tuesday of soldiers loyal to ousted Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo in connection with crimes during the country's post-election crisis in 2010-2011.

General Brunot Dogbo Ble, a pillar of Gbagbo's security apparatus, and four other soldiers appeared in civilian clothes before a crowded court in the economic capital Abidjan to answer for their actions during the former leader's stand-off with current President Alassane Ouattara, which claimed some 3 000 lives.

The trial, which has been organised by military prosecutors, opened several hours behind schedule under tight security at the main courthouse in the Plateau district.

Dogbo Ble and his co-defendants are charged with crimes including kidnapping, murder, rape, theft, arbitrary detention, embezzlement and creating militia forces.

A team of 17 lawyers is representing the five defendants.

Military prosecutor Ange Kessi said the trial marked the start of a series in which about 40 soldiers are expected to appear in court on charges including murder, rape and theft during the post-election conflict.

As head of the feared Republican Guard under Gbagbo, Dogbo Ble was a strongman of the regime before it fell on 11 April, 2011, after four months of crisis during which Gbagbo refused to admit defeat at the polls to Ouattara.

The senior officer was arrested in Abidjan on April 15 and has been detained ever since. He faces several charges under military justice, as well as a civil charge of genocide.

Kessi announced on Monday that Dogbo Ble and two other officers were also accused of complicity in the murder of a former junta chief, Robert Guei, who was killed on 19 September, 2002, the day of a foiled coup against Gbagbo, which was followed by the fall of the north of the country into rebel hands.

Victor's justice

The opening of the trial comes amid a climate of tension after a series of deadly attacks against soldiers in August, when the army lost about 10 men.

The authorities blamed the attacks on Gbagbo loyalists, but his supporters deny any involvement.

The authorities arrested key opposition figures in the wake of the attacks.

Laurent Akoun, General Secretary of Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), has been sentenced to six months in prison for disturbing the peace, and the ex-president's former spokesperson, Justin Kone Katinan, has been arrested in Ghana, where he faces murder charges and extradition proceedings.

New attacks claimed seven lives in Abidjan and on the border with Ghana on 20-21 September.

The opposition frequently accuses Ouattara's government of carrying out "victor's justice", while international organisations have also expressed misgivings. None of Ouattara's supporters have been arrested for crimes committed during the post-electoral crisis.

According to a report by a commission set up by the authorities, pro-Ouattara forces were responsible for the deaths of more than 700 people. Pro-Gbagbo forces are accused of killing twice as many.

Suspected by the International Criminal Court of an indirect role in crimes against humanity, Gbagbo has been detained pending trial in The Hague since the end of 2011.

About a score of leading figures from the ousted regime, including Gbagbo's wife Simone, and dozens of others who backed them are currently being held in Ivory Coast.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.