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Trial of Ivory Coast's ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo resumes

Ivory Coast

The trial of Ivory Coast former first lady Simone Gbagbo resumed on Monday after a two-month break for health reasons.

A witness accused Gbagbo of having distributed arms following her husband’s 2010 election defeat.

Her lawyer dismissed the testimony of Monday’s witness as “fabrication”, stressing that there were no concrete evidence against her.

“The prosecutor have witness that are not credible. They’re able to testify what they have seen but cannot prove any links towards Mrs Gbagbo. Otherwise we will have a whole day of witnesses telling stories, but you will clearly see that there is no link with Mrs Gbagbo,” said Rodrigue Dadjé, the principal advocate in Gbagbo’s case.

“It is quite clear that the panel will doubt the credibility of some of the witnesses. If I was a witness, perhaps I could have said the same thing, but it is up to each of the Parties to draw conclusion from what have been said by the witnesses,” said Sounkalo Coulibaly, a civil rights advocate.

Mrs. Gbagbo is being accused of human rights abuses against supporters of her husband’s rival Alassane Ouattara to keep Gbagbo in power. She’s also facing allegations of crimes against prisoners of war, crimes against the civilian population and crimes against humanity.

The 66-year-old has already been handed a 20-year jail sentence for “attacking state authority” over her role in post-election violence in 2010, events that left more than 3,000 people dead.

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