ICC appeals judges uphold case against Ivory Coast first lady

ICC appeals judges uphold case against Ivory Coast first lady

[JURIST] A panel of appeals judges for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday affirmed a ruling [judgment, PDF] that allows a case against former Ivory Coast first lady Simone Gbagbo [ICC case materials] to go forward to trial. Gbagbo is accused of multiple crimes against humanity including murder and rape, which allegedly occurred after the country’s debated 2010 elections that resulted in 3,000 deaths. Her husband, Laurent Gbagbo, the former incumbent president, refused to step down from office after Alassane Ouattara [BBC backgrounder] was declared the winner of the 2010 election, which sparked the months-long conflict. The judges allowed the case to go forward in part because it involves occurrences distinct from those which led to her 20-year sentence in March.

Simone Gbagbo plans to appeal her 20-year sentence on charges involving undermining state security [JURIST report] after the post-election violence in 2010. She was also accused of organizing armed gangs and disturbing the public order. The ICC unsealed [JURIST report] an arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity during the post-election violence, but the Ivory Coast opted to try her domestically.