Court fixes July 10 for hearing of charges against Gbagbo’s supporters

Many of the supporters are being tried for war crimes.

An Ivorian court has fixed July 10 for hearing of the confirmation of charges against detained supporters of former President Laurent Gbagbo.

A member of the defence team, Toussaint Dako-Zahoui, made this known to newsmen in Abidjan on Thursday.

The hearing of confirmation charges involves more than 100 persons, said to be Mr. Gbagbo’s supporters, who were arrested during and after the post-election crisis.

The latest adjournment is the third in two months as it had previously been shifted from June 19 to July 3.

Mr. Dako-Zahoui said it was worrisome that the rights of Mr. Gbagbo’s supporters in prison custody were not being respected by the authorities. He said the delay in the confirmation of the charges is caused by the failure of the prosecution to respond to issues raised by the defence team within a reasonable time.

“We have raised issues concerning the infringement of the rights of the accused persons; the rights of the accused persons are not being respected.

“Even standards of international conventions signed by Côte d’Ivoire are not being met and the trial procedure is indeed a source of worry,’’ he said.

Mr. Gbagbo’s supporters arrested during the crisis are mostly being accused of war crimes and crime against humanity.

Other charges are economic crimes, disturbance of public order, endangering public security and maintenance of armed gangs. Many of them are in detention in prisons located in the northern part of the country, such as Boundiali, Bouna, Katiola, and Odienné.

Prominent among those under detention are Gbagbo’s wife, Simone; his son, Michel; former Prime Minster, Ake N’gbo; and former Central Bank Governor, Philippe Dacoury-Tabley.

The Ivorian post-election crisis, which officially ended with Gbagbo’s arrest on April 11, 2011, is officially reported to have led to about 3,000 deaths.

The crisis is believed locally and internationally to have left arms in the hands of individuals while causing extensive damage and weakness to the national economy.



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