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Ivory Coast begins trial of ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo
Ivory Coast begins trial of ex-first lady Simone Gbagbo

[JURIST] The trial against former first lady of the Ivory Coast, Simone Gbagbo, began on Friday in Abidjan for her role in the violence that resulted from the aftermath of the 2010 elections. She is charged with “attempting to undermine the security of the state” [BBC report] for her support of the efforts of her husband, Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], to retain power after losing the 2010 election to the democratically elected Alassane Ouattara [BBC profile]. The resulting violence left 3,000 dead and 1 million homeless. Simone Gbagbo has been held under house arrest [France24 report] since her and her husband were arrested in April of 2011. She continues to assert her innocence, and her defense attorney has made statements [Voice of America Report] claiming that the claim lacks evidence, and that the charges against her are a political attack.

While Simone Gbagbo stands trial in Ivory Coast for the resulting violence of the 2010 election, she was also charged [JURIST report] with a range of economic crimes in August 2011. The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] also unsealed [JURIST report] an arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo in November 2012, which charged her with crimes against humanity. However, Ivory Coast officials declined to transfer Simone Gbagbo to the ICC [JURIST report] in September 2013, opting instead to try her domestically for the murder, rape and other crimes against humanity committed in the wake of the 2010 elections.