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Sun Nov 23 19:12:13 SAST 2014

Ivory Coast ex-first lady testifies in genocide case

Sapa-AFP | 14 November, 2012 07:36

Former Ivory Coast first lady Simone Gbagbo began testifying on Tuesday in her trial for genocide, embezzlement and other charges, a judicial source said.

The case is part of an investigation into crimes committed during the 2010-2011 crisis sparked by her husband Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to hand over power to current President Alassane Ouattara after losing a November 2010 presidential election.

The former first lady, who has been in custody in the northern town of Odienne since April 2011, is expected to give two days of testimony there, the source said.

The Ivory Coast crisis claimed some 3 000 lives. The Gbagbos were seized in April from a bunker in the presidential palace in Abidjan with support from French and UN troops.

Laurent Gbagbo is currently awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity.

In all, eight Gbagbo allies have been charged with genocide, and dozens of people who served under the former regime are in jail.

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