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Simone Gbagbo's war crimes trial to begin in Ivory Coast

Simone Gbagbo's war crimes trial to begin in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast

The second trial of former Ivorian first lady Simone Gbagbo is set to begin on Tuesday, in Ivory Coast.

Simone has earlier been convicted in March 2015 for offences against the state and sentenced to 20 years in prison over her role in post-election violence in 2010.

These accusations have been created to please certain parts of the international community. It's a pity. Enough is enough.

The violence is estimated to have led to 3,000 deaths, she will be tried this time around for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The post-election crisis stemmed from the refusal of her husband and the then president Laurent Gbagbo, to cede power to the current president, Alassane Ouattara.

Nicknamed the “Iron Lady”, Simone had appeared in court earlier in May, for a pre-trial hearing flanked by 12 other defendants.

One of her lawyers Mathurin Dirabou has described her charges as “fanciful”

“These accusations have been created to please certain parts of the international community. It’s a pity. Enough is enough,” he added.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) had wanted to prosecute Simone and even issued a warrant for her arrest but authorities in Ivory coast said she would face a fair trial at home.

The decision to hold legal proceedings in Ivory Coast is viewed as a snub to the ICC after president Ouattara declared in February that he would not send any more Ivorians to the ICC, saying that his country has an operational justice system.

Her husband is currently on trial at the ICC for crimes linked to the unrest following the post -election violence.

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