A court in Ivory Coast sentenced former first lady Simone Gbagbo on Tuesday to 20 years in prison for her role in a 2011 post-election crisis in which around 3,000 people were killed, her lawyer said.
Gbagbo, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court, was tried alongside 82 other allies of ex-President Laurent Gbagbo in a case that revived deep divisions in a nation still recovering from years of political turmoil and conflict.
General Bruno Dogbo Ble, who headed the elite republican guard, and former navy chief Admiral Vagba Faussignaux were both jailed for 20 years, according to their lawyer, while others including the former president’s son got shorter sentences.
Supporters of ex-president Gbagbo, whose refusal to acknowledge his defeat to Alassane Ouattara in elections in late 2010 sparked the brief civil war, claimed his wife’s trial was politically motivated.
“The jury members retained all the charges against her, including disturbing the peace, forming and organising armed gangs and undermining state security. It’s a shame,” said Simone Gbagbo’s lawyer Rodrigue Dadje.
The sentence handed down by the six-member jury was longer than the 10 years requested by the state prosecutor. The former first lady’s civil rights will also be suspended for a period of 10 years, Dadje said.