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ICC unseals arrest warrant for Ivorian former first lady

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-11-22

The International Criminal Court has unsealed an arrest warrant for Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity, the court revealed Thursday. Former president Laurent Gbagbo is in ICC custody awaiting trial.

The International Criminal Court on Thursday made public an arrest warrant issued for former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo's wife Simone, saying she has been charged with four counts of crimes against humanity.

The warrant, issued in February, is for "crimes against humanity of murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and other inhumane acts" committed during the 2010-2011 post-election crisis, the court said.

The bloody stand-off came after Gbagbo and his rival Alassane Ouattara both claimed victory in the much-delayed November 2010 presidential election.

The crimes during the ethnically-tinged conflict were carried out by the Ivorian army, as well as youth militias and mercenaries loyal to Gbagbo, who is himself awaiting trial at the ICC, the court said.

They were committed in commercial capital Abidjan, around the country and around the Golf Hotel in Abidjan where Ouattara was then besieged by forces loyal to Gbagbo.

"They targeted civilians who they believed were supporters of Alassane Ouattara, and the attacks were often directed at specific ethnic or religious communities," the court said.

Simone Gbagbo, 63, on Tuesday started testifying in her trial in Ivory Coast on genocide, embezzlement and other charges.

Her husband Laurent is already in custody before the Hague-based tribunal where he faces four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and inhuman acts, over the post-election violence the UN said cost about 3,000 lives.

The 67-year-old was arrested in April last year by followers of long-time rival Ouattara after French and UN forces cleared the way for them to enter his Abidjan palace.



Date created : 2012-11-22


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