4 charged with plotting pro-Gbagbo coup

2012-07-14 09:00

Abidjan - Four Ivory Coast soldiers loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo have been charged with plotting to overthrow President Alassane Ouattara, a military prosecutor said on Friday.

The four were charged with "attacking state security" after the Ivorian government claimed last month that it had foiled a coup plot against Ouattara.

"Lieutenant-colonel Kate Gnatoa and three others, including two non-commissioned officers, were officially charged on Thursday for attacking state security," military prosecutor Ange Kessi told a press conference.

"They admitted the facts alleged against them during questioning."

The prosecutor said Gnatoa and several soldiers had set up a headquarters in Ghana to plan a coup after Gbagbo was captured in April 2011, ending a violent four-month standoff in which the former leader refused to accept his loss to Ouattara in a presidential election.

"Accomplices are being pursued and are facing arrest warrants," Kessi said.

Gbagbo's party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), has accused the government of fabricating "a fictitious coup" to slander Gbagbo.

The former president is currently in a cell of the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, where he is accused of murder, rape, persecution and "other inhuman acts" arising from the December 2010-April 2011 crisis that claimed some 3 000 lives.