Ivory Coast’s Former President Charged With Economic Crimes

Posted August 18th, 2011 at 5:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Ivory Coast has filed charges for the first time against former president Laurent Gbagbo and his wife, four months after he was ousted from power.

Ivorian officials say Mr. Gbagbo was charged Thursday with economic crimes, including robbery, looting and embezzling public funds. They say his wife, Simone Gbagbo, was charged on Tuesday.

The two had been under house arrest since April 11, following four months of post-election violence.

Ivory Coast's political crisis began late last year when then-president Gbagbo refused to step down despite losing an election to current President Alassane Ouattara. At least 3,000 people were killed in the violence.

Earlier this month, Ivorian officials charged 12 allies of Mr. Gbagbo, including his son and his party chief, for their roles in the violence.

President Ouattara has invited the International Criminal Court to try the most serious crimes committed during the political crisis.

Mr. Ouattara has vowed justice will be equally applied to all those responsible for the post-election violence, including his own supporters.

However, critics of President Ouattara complain that none of his men has yet to be charged with participating in the violence.

U.N. human rights investigators say they have evidence that both sides may have committed war crimes and human rights abuses during the conflict.