Ivory Coast former first lady makes first court appearance

Ivory Coast former first lady makes first court appearance

[JURIST] Former Ivory Coast first lady Simone Gbagbo [ICC case materials] made her her first appearance before a domestic court Monday, questioning charges against her. Gbagbo is on trial for her role in the violence following the disputed 2010 election between her husband, Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara [BBC backgrounder]. Ouattara was declared the winner, sparking violence that left 3,000 dead and more than one million homeless. The Gbagbos were arrested after a military assault by the UN and French Army. In court on Monday, Simone Gbagbo provided evidence and stated that she was not sure [France24 report] what she was being charged with. She stated also that her husband was the actual winner of the election, not Outtara.

Simone Gbagbo’s trial started [JURIST report] in late December. Her defense lawyer stated that she was innocent and that the charges against her lacked evidence, framing the whole thing as a political attack. In November 2012 the International Criminal Court unsealed [JURIST report] an arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity during the post-election violence, but the Ivory Coast has opted to try her domestically.