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ex Ivorian Speaker Soro sentenced to life in absentia

The criminal court of Abidjan-Plateau, on Wednesday, sentenced the former Ivorian National Assembly Speaker, Guillaume Soro, to life imprisonment in…

The criminal court of Abidjan-Plateau, on Wednesday, sentenced the former Ivorian National Assembly Speaker, Guillaume Soro, to life imprisonment in absentia for plotting against the authority of the state.His younger brothers, Soro Porlo Rigobert and Simon Soro, were sentenced to 17 months imprisonment, as well as former MPs Alain Lobognon and Felicien Sekongo for disturbing public order and publishing false news with a fine of 500,000 CFA francs each, after a re-characterisation of the charges against them.

Only Mr. Traore Babou, a civilian, was acquitted. 

The former Minister of Communication, Affoussy Bamba-Lamine, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, as well as Kamarate Souleymane known as “Soul To Soul” (Soro’s Chief of Protocol), Toure Moussa, his communication officer and Issiaka Fofona.

The court also imposed a 20-year prison sentence on Chief Sergeant Fofana Kouakou, Souleymane Bamba, Commander Kasse Jean-Baptiste, Zebret Souleymane, Kamagate Adama, Silue Neguerdjomon Emmanuel, Bamba Souleymane, Dosso Seydou, Kone Ardjouma, Traore Lamine, Fofana Kouakou and Sess Soukou Mohamed.

The court ordered the deprivation of their rights for five years and a ban on appearances against Mr. Alain Lobognon, Soro Simon, Sekongo Felicien and Rigobert Soro.  

It also ordered the confiscation of the weapons and ammunition seized.

It further ordered the dissolution of the citizen movement called ‘Generations et Peuples Solidaires’ (GPS) founded and chaired by Guillaume Soro, and the confiscation of its property for the benefit of the state, condemning all the accused, except Babou Traore, to pay the state the whopping one billion CFA francs in damages. 

Mr. Soro and 19 of his supporters were accused of undermining the authority of the state. 

Most of the personalities prosecuted in this case have been arrested since 23 December 2019, the date of Mr. Soro’s aborted return to Abidjan.

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