World News
Fracas as Gbagbo’s wife appears in court

Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo on Monday questioned the charges against her as she appeared in court for the first time accused of undermining state security.

“I don’t know exactly what the concrete actions are that I am being accused of,” Gbagbo said, insisting also that her husband Laurent Gbagbo was the legitimate winner of a 2010 presidential election that sparked five months of violence that claimed some 3,000 lives.

Ahead of her appearance, police moved to separate supporters and opponents of the Gbagbos as scuffles broke out outside the courtroom.

To shouts of “Murderers!” from opponents referring to the post-electoral bloodshed, supporters shouted back “Liars!”

Simone Gbagbo, 65, and 82 fellow defendants are accused of playing roles in violence that broke out in Abidjan when Laurent Gbagbo refused to admit defeat in the December 2010 election.

The former president himself is in The Hague awaiting trial in July for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

The defeated regime allegedly used brutal militias to attack supporters of the declared winner of the poll, Alassane Ouattara, but some of his backers are equally accused of atrocities, at a total cost of more than 3,000 lives.

The Gbagbos were arrested in April 2011, with Simone taken into custody in the north of the west African country while her husband was eventually turned over to the ICC.

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