Former Ivorian minister, Hubert Oulaye on Tuesday was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by Assize Court in Abidjan for complicity in a 2012 attack in Western Ivory Coast that claimed the lives of 18 persons including seven UN peacekeepers.
Oulaye, 64, served under former president Laurent Gbagbo and was Minister for Labour and Public Service. According to the Attorney General, Oulaye provided financial means for the founding of rebellion in the western part of the country.
The ex-minister’s arrest came six months after his return from exile in Ghana, several days after participating in a meeting of the rebels of Gbagbo’s party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI).
The 2012 attack happened when Ivory Coast was revolving from violence caused when the then president, Gbagbo refused to step down after losing presidential position to Alassane Ouattara, who is the current president.
Gbagbo is currently standing trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity committed during the crisis where 3,000 lives were lost.
Oulaye has dismissed the verdict and referred to it as “political conviction.” His lawyers have taken decision to appeal the verdict.
Rodrigue Dadje, Oulaye’s lawyer has referred to the verdict as “a political decision” and has warned that it would create a dangerous and hurtful precedent.
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