The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo for alleged crimes against humanity committed during the West African nation’s post-election crisis last year.
The warrant, seen by Reuters, alleges that she was “criminally responsible for murder, rape, other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts, and persecution”.
The wife of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, has been issued a warrant for her arrest by the International Criminal Court. Simone Gbagbo is the former First Lady and wife of the ex-Ivorian leader, who is already in custody.
Mrs. Gbagbo was questioned last week by Magistrate in Côte d’lvoire about her involvements in her husband’s dealings, which include genocide and corruption.
She is in presently in custody.
RFI radio reported that the interrogation followed that of over 20 aides of the former President that began on May 31. Reports said Judge Koné Mamadou and Barrister Rodrigue Dadjé, one of the lawyers of Simone Gbagbo, were already in Odienné in the north-western part of the country since Monday November 12 where the questioning was held. Mrs. Gbagbo is one of eight people already charged with genocide. Last February, she was informed that the count of genocide had also been added to others such as blood crimes, threat to State security and economic crimes.
According to a judicial source, the questioning of Simone Gbagbo and two other former aides of her husband marks the last phase in the court process before the opening of their trials expected in the coming days.
Some observers say the beginning of the trials could help reduce tension in the country between supporters of her husband and the authorities.
Over the course of the investigation into Mrs Gbagbo’s involvement, the government of President Alassane Ouattara has been suspected of selective justice. These allegations have been based on the fact that only supporters of Gbagbo have been investigated.
Many of those accused have been in custody for more than a year.
Now that the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, has ruled that Gbagbo is fit to go to trial, it appears the court wants to waste no time in adding to their proceedings, Mrs Gbagbo.
The warrant, seen by Reuters, alleges Mrs Gbagbo was “criminally responsible for murder, rape, other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts, and persecution”.
It appears that she faces the same charges of crimes against humanity, that her husband is facing.
They were allegedly committed in the wake of post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011.
More than 3,000 people were killed in violence, which resulted from election results.
The former First Lady has denied any responsibility for the violence.