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Ex-Ivory Coast first lady, Gbagbo appeals jail term

Ex-Ivory Coast first lady Simone Gbagbo has appealed the 20-year term she got for her role in post-election violence that killed over 3,000 people, her lawyer announced Monday.

“We lodged an appeal in the highest court,” said defence counsel Habiba Toure. “The procedure is irregular and must be nullified.”

In a surprise decision prosecutors, who had argued Gbagbo should be given 10 years behind bars for her part in the bloody 2010-2011 unrest, announced that they too had lodged an appeal.

“The public prosecutor’s office has filed an appeal,” prosecuting attorney Simon Yabo Odi told AFP, without giving precise grounds for the decision to take the case to the Court of Cassation.

However, Odi rejected any change to the prison term handed down March 10 to Gbagbo, 65, who was jailed by an Assize Court for “undermining state security.”


Ivorian law makes no provision for an appeal against the verdict of an Assize Court in criminal cases.

However, it is possible to turn to the High Court of Cassation for a ruling on the validity of a sentence on the basis of legal procedure, rather than evidence raised during trial.

Gbagbo and 78 fellow defendants were accused of playing roles in the violence that broke out in the country’seconomic capital Abidjan when her husband Laurent Gbagbo refused to admit defeat in the December 2010 election.

The vanquished leadership allegedly used brutal militias to attack supporters of the declared winner of the poll,President Alassane Ouattara, but some of his backers are equally accused of atrocities.

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