ICoast Supreme Court overturns Simone Gbagbo acquital

2018-07-28 07:33
Simone, the wife of Laurent Gbagbo. (File, AFP)

Simone, the wife of Laurent Gbagbo. (File, AFP)

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Ivory Coast's Supreme Court has overturned an acquittal ruling handed down last year to former first lady Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity, her lawyer told AFP on Friday.

"The Supreme Court decided on Thursday to send Simone Gbagbo back before another criminal court," Andre Blede Dohora told AFP without giving details. No text of the decision was immediately forthcoming.

Dohora said he deplored that Gbagbo's defence team had not been summoned to court before the decision was handed down.

The wife of former president Laurent Gbagbo, in power from 2000 to 2010, was acquitted last March after being accused of implication in the shelling of Abobo market in a district of the capital Abidjan.

The district is broadly supportive of current President Alassane Ouattara, Gbagbo's bitter rival in the 2010 election.

Simone Gbagbo was also accused of being a member of a "crisis cell" that allegedly coordinated attacks by the armed forces and militias in support of her husband.

She was serving a 20-year sentence handed to her in 2015 for "endangering state security".

Laurent Gbagbo has been in detention at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague for seven years.

Since 2016, he is being tried for alleged crimes against humanity during post-election unrest. The violence cost some 3 000 lives according to an official tally.

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The ICC in 2012 attempted to have Simone Gbagbo detained to face allegations of crimes against humanity on the grounds that she "played a central role in post-election violence", sparked by Gbagbo's refusal to accept Ouattara's victory.

The government refused international calls to transfer her to the ICC. Instead she was judged by an Ivorian court, which acquitted her last year.

Read more on:    ivory coast  |  west africa

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