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Simone Gbagbo to face trial in Ivory Coast for crimes against humanity

Simone Gbagbo to face trial in Ivory Coast for crimes against humanity

Ivory Coast

Former Ivory Coast first lady Simone Gbagbo will be tried for crimes against humanity in the west African country on April 25, her lawyer, Mathurin Dirabou has said.

A high profile Ivorian judge told AFP that the case is ready to be taken to court following recommendations made by the prosecution in January.

Simone Gbagbo’s lawyers had appealed against the decision of the prosecutor’s office.

The former Ivorian first lady was in March 2015 sentenced to 20 years in jail for what judges described as “an attack on state authorities” during the post electoral crisis of 2010-2011.

An estimated 3,000 people died in the violence that followed the presidential poll after Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat.

The ICC has been eager to try Simone Gbagbo for “crimes against humanity” but Abidjan has refused to transfer the “iron lady” to the Hague claiming the country had the capacity to handle such cases.

The offenses for which she is being prosecuted in Abidjan are the same as those she would face at the ICC. The principle of the ICC is: either you try the person or you hand him/her over, a judicial source said.

Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara earlier in February indicated that his country would no longer send its citizens to the Hague to be tried as it now has an operational judicial system.

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