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Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire charges Gbagbo and wife with economic crimes

AFP/Sia Kambou

Former Côte d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone have been charged with "economic crimes" and placed under preventive detention, the public prosecutor announced Thursday.

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The charges include aggravated theft, attacks on the national economy, embezzlement of public funds and pillage, prosecutor Simplice Kouadio Koffi said.

The couple were already under house arrest, he in Korhogo and she in Odienne, both northern cities.

They were originally held on 11 April after a four-month conflict that followed last year’s presidential election.

Gbagbo’s supporters say that his release is a concition for any reconciliation process.

In a separate case, the former president's personal doctor was also charged and detained and the authorities said investigations into "blood crimes" were continuing.

Former army strongman, General Brunot Dogbo Ble, and 12 others were also detained after being charged with kidnapping four foreigners from an Abidjan hotel in April, the prosecutor said.

The latest arrests brings to more than 80 the number of Gbago supporters placed in custody since the conflict with his rival, Alassane Ouattara, ended.

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