It’s a joy’ – Simone Gbagbo, as former Ivorian President freed

16 January 2019 Africa News

Former Ivory Coast First Lady Simone Gbagbo has told the BBC that her husband’s acquittal is “a joy”.

“It’s the decision I’ve been waiting for since the beginning.

“From the beginning I was convinced that President Laurent Gbagbo was not guilty of everything he was accused of,” she told the BBC’s Valerie Bony in Abidjan.

Mrs Gbagbo said she did not know what the next step would be for her husband once he is released by the ICC, adding “all I know is that I am waiting for him here as soon as possible”.

The former first lady had been convicted by a court in Ivory Coast for crimes related to the violence that followed the 2010 elections, but she was released last year in what was described as an effort towards reconciliation.

Mrs Gbagbo said that today’s ruling showed justice had been done, and suggested that her time in prison must have been easier because unlike her husband she had the comforts of Ivorian food:Quote Message: Today the truth has been proclaimed by the judges themselves who have been handling this trial from the beginning. They listened to all the witnesses, listened to the prosecution’s arguments and concluded today that this gentleman should never have been arrested, nor should he have been sent to the ICC. It is justice to proclaim his acquittal.

Today the truth has been proclaimed by the judges themselves who have been handling this trial from the beginning. They listened to all the witnesses, listened to the prosecution’s arguments and concluded today that this gentleman should never have been arrested, nor should he have been sent to the ICC. It is justice to proclaim his acquittal.Quote Message: I know what it’s like to be in prison. But I was here. I had the opportunity to eat my Atièkè, and my foutou [Ivorian foods], but him there, in The Hague in this cold country and far from his relatives, it’s horrible, it’s wicked!”

I know what it’s like to be in prison. But I was here. I had the opportunity to eat my Atièkè, and my foutou [Ivorian foods], but him there, in The Hague in this cold country and far from his relatives, it’s horrible, it’s wicked!”

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