Posted On June 29, 2016 By In Uncategorized With 34 Views

Ivorian ex-first lady’s lawyers try to discredit accuser

Abidjan, June 29, 2016 (AFP)

Lawyers for Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo, on trial for crimes against humanity, on Wednesday said a key witness who claimed she had bankrolled a militia movement had psychiatric problems.
The bid to discredit Moise Metchro Harolde Metch came a day after the former militia head told the court that the feisty Gbagbo had financed his group.
Simone Gbagbo is accused over deadly violence following the 2010-2011 presidential election that her husband Laurent Gbagbo lost. Laurent Gbagbo is on trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“We have proof that the witness has already undergone a psychiatric examination,” Simone Gbagbo’s lawyer Ange Rodrigue Dadje said.
Gbagbo’s lawyers had earlier called for the psychiatric test on the ground that Metch’s earlier statements in the run-up to the trial were “flagrantly incoherent.”
Dadje then called for that report to be made public.
The head of the court, Kouadio Bouatchi, asked Metch if he was compos mentis, to which he replied: “I am in full possession of all my mental faculties. I am not crazy!”
Metch’s hearing was postponed until Thursday after the report of the psychological examination is made public.
Simone Gbago, 67, whose trial began on May 31, has denied any contact with the militia that hunted down supporters of her husband’s rival, current President Alassane Ouattara.
The decision by ex-president Gbagbo not to recognise Ouattara’s victory in the November 2010 election triggered a crisis which cost the lives of more than 3,000 people over five months.
The violence ended only after troops stormed the bunker where the Gbagbo couple had holed up.
The former first lady has rejected allegations she was involved in a decision to shell a pro-Ouattara Abidjan neighbourhood and helped plan attacks by Gbagbo supporters on his detractors.
This is Simone Gbagbo’s second trial in Ivory Coast where she is already serving a 20-year sentence for “harming state security”.


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