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Cote d’Ivoire restates decision to try Gbagbo’s wife in Ivorian courts


Azubuike Okeh
ABIDJAN – Cote d’Ivoire’s Government has said that it will not renege on its decision to hold the trial of former First Lady, Simone Gbagbo , in Ivorian courts.
This is contained in a statement issued by the presidency and made available to newsmen in Abidjan on Thursday.
The statement stated that the Ivorian government had filed an appeal against the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) order seeking the extradition of Simone to The Hague for trial.
It said the appeal was hinged on the doctrine of `Plea of Inadmissibility’, which enables parties to challenge ICC’s jurisdiction to prosecute an accused if the national courts can do so.
“We have repeatedly stated that we want to hold Simone Gbagbo’s trial in Cote d’Ivoire, nothing has changed.
“We hope that our appeal will be heard, as a country, we respect our international commitments, we also have national principles that we must uphold,’’ the statement read in parts.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the Ivorian government had rejected ICC’s arrest warrant on Simone, saying it had the capacity to try her.
NAN recalls that the arrest of former President Laurent Gbagbo, his wife, Simone and son, Michel, on April 11, 2011 officially ended the post-election conflict that rocked the country.
Since the arrest, Gbagbo has been in ICC’s custody; Simone has also been in detention in Cote d’Ivoire while Michel was granted provisional freedom on August 6, 2013.
Only recently, Simone’s lawyers described her detention without trial as unfair and a denial of justice.
Both Gbagbo and Simone are being accused of crimes against humanity, allegedly committed during the 2010/2011 political crisis, reported to have caused the death of some 3,000 persons. (NAN)

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