Bloomberg News

Ex-Ivory Coast Leader Gbagbo’s Associates Facing Charges

June 27, 2011

(Updates with comment from Kouadio in third paragraph.)

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast charged 15 people linked to the former president, Laurent Gbagbo, including the ex- governor of the regional central bank, with harming state security and economic crimes, said Simplice Koffi Kouadio, the prosecutor for Abidjan, the commercial capital.

Philippe-Henri Dacoury-Tabley, who resigned from the Dakar- based Central Bank of West African States in January, is accused along with ex-Prime Minister Gilbert Ake N’Gbo and Alcide Djedje, a former minister of foreign affairs, Kouadio said by phone yesterday.

They are alleged to have “committed infractions against state companies, private banks” and the central bank that manages policy for eight countries in the region including Ivory Coast, Kouadio said. Charges also include robbery and embezzlement, he said.

Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, is emerging from a 4 1/2-month political crisis that followed a disputed November presidential election. Gbagbo, who lost the vote to Alassane Ouattara, clung to power until he was captured in Abidjan on April 11. Ouattara was sworn into office on May 21.

‘Reconciliation’

The 15 people accused are being held at La Pergola, a hotel in Abidjan, Koudio said. More people may face charges later this week, he said.

The charges are “not good at all for the reconciliation process,” Augustin Guehoun, a spokesman for Gbagbo’s Front Populaire Ivoirien party, said by phone today.

Investigations should be expanded to include alleged abuses during Gbagbo’s decade-long rule and by supporters of Ouattara during the post-election crisis, said Patrick N’Gouan, chairman of the Ivorian Civil Society Convention. “Both camps were involved in acts of violence,” he said by phone today.

As many as 3,000 people were killed in fighting that followed the election, according to the International Criminal Court, which is looking into the abuses and is set to begin a one-week visit to the West African nation today.

--Editors: Emily Bowers, Philip Sanders.

To contact the reporter on this story: Baudelaire Mieu and Olivier Monnier in Abidjan via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net.


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