The former head of the Young Ivorian Patriots was also sentenced to 10 years of deprivation of his civil rights.

Charles Blé Goudé announced on Monday that he had learned of his sentencing to twenty years in prison by the Ivorian justice system

during a hearing in Abidjan the same day.

According to Charle Blé Goudé, contacted by phone in The Hague where he is on parole after his acquittal by the International Criminal

Court (ICC), the Ivorian justice sentenced him in absentia to “20 years in prison, 10 years in deprivation of its civil rights, 200 million CFA

francs ”(300,000 euros) in damages to be paid to the victims.

The court also issued an arrest warrant against him, he said, saying he was “surprised by the verdict”, which was delivered without the

presence of a lawyer. He was accused by the Ivorian justice of “acts of torture, intentional homicides and rape”, had indicated his lawyers

on December 18, day when his trial was to open.

One of his lawyers, Me Suy Bi Gohoré, then said that the president of the criminal court of Abidjan had “withdrawn the case from the list”

pending the consideration of a cassation appeal formulated by him, based on the accused’s absence and other procedural irregularities.

The lawyers had denounced a “flagrant violation” of the rights of Charles Blé Goudé, because of his inability to attend his trial. They were

not available immediately on Monday evening.

Blé Goudé had been transferred by the Ivorian authorities to the ICC in 2014. With his former mentor, the former Ivorian president Laurent

Gbagbo, he was tried for crimes against humanity. The two were acquitted in early 2019 and released on parole pending consideration of

the appeal by the ICC’s prosecutor.

Charles Blé Goudé cannot return to Côte d’Ivoire until the procedure is completed. Recall that the announcement of Blé Goudé’s conviction

comes eight days after the start of the Guillaume Soro’s case. The former head of the Ivorian rebellion of the 2000s, and former president

of the National Assembly, currently in France, is the subject of an international arrest warrant from the Ivorian justice, which accuses him of

“conspiracy” and ‘to have prepared’ a civil and military insurrection ‘to seize power.

When the Blé Goudé’s trial was announced on November 7, the attorney general of the Court of Appeal of Abidjan Léonard Lebry had

refuted any political agenda dictated by the government less than a year before the presidential election in October 2020 which seems to

be tense.

By Subiru Madina