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Africa

Ivory Coast first lady summoned over missing journalist

Latest update : 2009-11-16

Simone Gbagbo has reportedly been summoned to testify before a French judge in Paris on Thursday, over the disappearance of Canadian journalist Guy-Andre Kieffer in 2004. The first lady's lawyer, however, said she is yet to receive any summons.

AFP - French police are to question the wife of Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo over the disappearance of a Canadian journalist in Abidjan in 2004, sources close to the case said Tuesday.
  
Simone Gbagbo has been summoned to testify in Paris on Thursday before a French judge tasked with the case of Guy-Andre Kieffer, who went missing while researching a story on corruption in Ivory Coast's important cocoa industry.
  
Kieffer's body has never been found but French investigators believe he was abducted and murdered on the orders of certain powerful business interests.
  
It remained unclear whether Gbagbo planned to answer the summons. Former Ivory Coast economy minister Paul Antoine Bohoun Bouabre has also been called to testify, according to the sources.
  
French investigators believe Kieffer was abducted in the parking lot of an Abdijan supermarket in April 2004 where he was due to meet Michel Legre, Simone Gbagbo's brother-in-law.
  
Legre was indicted by a Paris judge in May 2004.
  
"We asked the judges to summon Madame Gbagbo more than a year ago," said Osange Silou-Kieffer, the journalist's wife. "Her name came up in this case at the beginning."

Date created : 2008-07-08

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