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Former Ivory Coast first lady ‘freed’

Yamoussoukro, Tuesday

Ivory Coast’s former first lady, Simone Gbagbo (pictured), who is serving a 20-year jail term, will be freed on Wednesday after President Alassan Ouattara granted her an amnesty, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

The wife of former president Laurent Gbagbo has spent seven years behind bars for her role in a wave of political violence that claimed several thousand lives in 2010-11.

On the eve of independence day, Ouattara had on Monday announced an amnesty for Simone and around 800 others in the name of national reconciliation. Her attorney, Rodrigue Dadje, told AFP she would be “released tomorrow, after the judicial formalities have been completed.”

Simone was convicted for “endangering state security” for her part in post-electoral violence and sentenced in 2015.

She had been implicated in the 2011 shelling of a market in an Abidjan district that supported Ouattara and for belonging to a “crisis cell” that allegedly coordinated attacks by the armed forces and militias in support of her husband.  —AFP

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