ICC releases arrest warrant for Côte d’Ivoire’s former lady

The International Criminal Court has dropped its arrest warrant for Ivory Coast’s former president’s lady, Simone Gbagbo, following violence following the 2010-2011 election that killed thousands, according to a decision released on Thursday.

Simone Gbagbo was charged with crimes against humanity – including murder, rape, inhuman acts and persecution – after her husband refused to hand over power to Alassane Ouattara, who won an election in 2010.

More than 3,000 people died in the riots.

“The House considers it appropriate to decide that the arrest warrant for Simone Gbagbo should expire,” the court said in a seven-page decision seen by AFP and dated July 19.

“Good news for Madame Simone Gbagbo … she can now travel freely around the world,” her lawyer Ange Rodrigue Dadje said in a statement sent to AFP.

In March, the ICC acquitted Laurent Gbagbo of crimes against humanity and he returned to Côte d’Ivoire on June 17, after ten years behind bars in The Hague, where the ICC is based, and then in Belgium.

Simone Gbagbo was not handed over to the ICC, but an Ivorian court sentenced her to 20 years in prison in 2015 for undermining state security.

She was released on August 8, 2018 following the President’s amnesty.

President Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo met on Tuesday for the first time in more than ten years, after which Ouattara said the concerns were “behind us”.

Reconciliation was not on the cards for the Gbagbo couple-Laurent Gbagbo filed for divorce when he returned to Côte d’Ivoire, citing 72-year-old Simone’s “consistent refusal over the years to agree to a friendly separation”.

They married in 1989 and have two daughters.

The 76-year-old Gbagbo currently lives with Nady Bamba, a 47-year-old former journalist.



This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More