Michel Gbagbo, the son of former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo will be tried Friday in Abidjan, for “disclosure of false news” after announcing the disappearance of political prisoners in Côte d’Ivoire, announced Thursday his lawyer.
“Michel Gbagbo will appear before the Criminal Court of Abidjan Plateau where he is being prosecuted for making himself an accomplice (…) of disclosure of false news,” said Ange Rodrigue Dadje.
Mr. Dadje pointed out that Michel Gbagbo is being prosecuted at the same time as the French journalist Laurent Despas, general director of the information site Koaci.com.
The trial, announced in mid-June, had been postponed twice due to an agreement between Mr Gbagbo’s lawyers and the prosecution. The absence of the co-accused Laurent Despas, “in France for family reasons” since June 6 also motivated this postponement.
The two men were indicted on May 26, 2016, but were released by the Abidjan prosecutor, Richard Adou, following an interview given by the son Gbagbo to Koaci.com, published on May 2.
In this interview, Michel Gbagbo declared that “as of March 30, 2016, 250 people were still detained in Ivorian prisons and that” 300 people (…) charged and placed under arrest warrant since 2011 are missing “.
“The prosecutor informs that there has been no case of disappearance of defendants of the post-election crisis,” reacted Mr. Adou, criticizing statements “without foundation and lies” of Michel Gbagbo.
Michel, son of former president Laurent Gbagbo, who had been married for the first time to a French woman, was sentenced on March 10, 2015, to five years’ imprisonment for “attacking state security”, although he was not detained. .
Simone Gbagbo, wife of the former Ivorian president detained at the ICC, is serving a 20-year sentence in the same case, after being judged for her role in the crisis caused by her husband’s refusal to recognize the victory of Alassane Ouattara in the presidential elections of November 2010.
Laurent Gbagbo has been imprisoned since the end of 2011 in The Hague, where he is tried by the International Criminal Court for “crimes against humanity” alleged to have committed during the post-election crisis of 2010-2011, which killed more than 3,000 people in Ivory Coast, sources said.