Cote d’Ivoire’s ex-First Lady in court over post-poll violence

Cote d’Ivoire’s ex-First Lady Simone Gbagbo Monday appeared in an Abidjan court to answer charges over her role in the 2010-2011 post-election violence that claimed at least 3,000 lives.

“I don’t know the exact charges that I am facing,” said Ms. Gbagbo in court.

Like 82 other close confidants of her husband, she is accused of, among other issues, “threatening state security.”

She reaffirmed that it was Laurent Gbagbo who won the 2010 presidential elections, and accused France of having overthrown him and installed Alassane Ouattara.

It will be recalled that Ouattara’s victory was announced by Cote d’Ivoire’s Independent Electoral Commission and certified by the United Nations.

However, the Constitutional Council later disputed the results and announced Gbagbo as the winner.

Before the start of the court case, Ms. Gbagbo’s supporters and opponents almost clashed outside the court, forcing police to intervene and disperse them.

At the start of the hearing of the case, her lawyers demanded that the case should be halted due to parliamentary immunity accorded to the former First Lady who served as a member of parliament between 2010-2011.

The court rejected the request, arguing that it was not competent to entertain the matter.

Simone Gbagbo, 65, is the last person to be heard by the court in the ongoing post-election violence cases that began on Dec. 26, 2014.