Ivory Coast Justice Minister says deposed president will be interrogated over alleged crimes by his regime
Ivory Coast police and gendarmes will next week begin interrogating deposed president Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone over alleged crimes by his regime.
Gbagbo and his wife have been placed under house arrest in separate towns in the north of the country after the strongman was arrested on April 11 by forces loyal to new President Alassane Ouattara.
"The police and the gendarmes will begin hearing Laurent Gbagbo and his wife next week from May 4. We have notified the (former) president Laurent Gbagbo," Ivory Coast Justice Minister Jeannot Kouadio Ahoussou told AFP on Saturday. "The hearings will take place at the residences," he said, adding that in all some 200 people were to be interrogated.
Simone Gbagbo is being detained in the northwestern Odienne town and her husband in the town of Korhogo in the north of the country.
The government spokesman this week said preliminary investigations had been launched against Gbagbo and his associates for "crimes and offences" by his regime.
Meanwhile, the justice minister said that a probe into the kidnapping of four foreigners - two French, a Beninese and a Malaysian - earlier this month in Abidjan revealed that elements of an elite pro-Gbagbo army unit were the leading suspects. "An investigation has been launched over the kidnapping ... There are several leads, the most serious being elements of the Republican Guards," said Ahoussou.