Ivory Coast’s former first lady, Simone Gbagbo, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for instigating the deadly violence that rocked the West African country after presidential elections in 2010.
The 65-year-old wife of Ivory Coast’s former president, Laurent Gbagbo, was sentenced in court on Tuesday on charges of having a hand in the unrest which led to the deaths of some 3,000 people following the presidential poll in late 2010 and 2011.
“The jury members retained all the charges against her, including disturbing the peace, forming and organizing armed gangs and undermining state security,” Rodrigue Dadje, the ex-first lady’s lawyer said.
She was sentenced for twice as long as the prosecutors had initially asked for. Simone’s lawyer said they will appeal.
Simone also said she was humiliated, adding that the prosecution had failed to prove her guilty.
The former president’s wife was tried along with 82 other supporters of her husband. General Bruno Dogbo Ble, who headed the elite republican guard as well as former navy chief Admiral Vagba Faussignaux, were also sentenced to 20 years in prison.
This is while the former Ivorian president is also facing four charges, including crimes against humanity, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) over his alleged role in orchestrating the post-election violence.
Simone was arrested along with her husband in 2011 after troops stormed a bunker following a military assault on their residence in Abidjan.
Ivory Coast was engulfed in chaos after the former president refused to concede defeat in the November 2010 presidential election and remained in power until being driven out in April 2011 by the supporters of Alassane Ouattara, the country’s current president !!