The verdict for the trial of the 2011 break-in of the Central Bank of West African States known by its French acronym BCEAO has been postponed to June 21, even though a ruling on the matter was expected on Tuesday.
The postponement is expected to afford the defence team more time to gather more information as the judge says the evidence presented is not enough.
#CôtedIvoire, Le délibéré du procès du «braquage» de la BCEAO renvoyé au 21 juin 2016— #AFRICA24 (@AFRICA24TV) May 3, 2016
In January 2011, at the height of the post-election crisis in Ivory Coast, the Abidjan branch of BCEAO was burgled.
Then president Laurent Gbagbo was accused of seizing the bank with the intention of using it as his central bank as the country’s economy had hit rock bottom.
The move followed BCEAO’s endorsement of the victory of Gbagbo’s opponent, the then candidate Ouattara in the November polls.
Gbagbo and three of his ministers were accused of being the masterminds of the attack.
Gbagbo’s Prime Minister, Gilbert Ake N’Gbo, his Minister for Economy and Finance, Desire Dallo are the ones in the dock.
The prosecutor in the case is demanding a prison term of 20 years for the defendants but the defence team has asked for the acquittal of the accused persons.
But the judge postponed the ruling to enable defence counsel gather more information on the matter.
The extension is also expected to help in determining the exact amount of money that taken from the bank’s vault in 2011.
Gbagbo who is currently being tried at the Hague for post election violence and his Budget Minister, Justin Kone Katinan who is in exile in Ghana are being tried in absentia.