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Ivory Coast Court Refuses to Release Gbagbo's Wife, Others

Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo waits for judges to arrive for his initial court appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague December 5, 2011. Gbagbo appeared at the International Criminal Court on Monday, facing charges of c

Deisire Boussi, spokesman for Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front Party says the decision is political not legal

A spokesman for former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front Party says a precondition for reconciliation is for President Alassane Ouattara’s government to release all supporters of the former president.

This comes as a court in Abidjan Wednesday refused to release on bail 20 top Gbagbo aides, including former first lady Simone Gbagbo.

Mrs. Gbagbo and several other ex-cabinet ministers have been in jail since Mr. Gbagbo was captured in April this year.

Party spokesman Deisire Boussi says the continued detention of Gbagbo supporters is political not legal.

“What we want here simply is that the Ivorian justice goes on applying or implementing Ivorian law. We don’t think they are really implementing the Ivorian law because sometimes we feel like facing a political matter instead of a judiciary one,” he said.

Boussi says any genuine reconciliation gesture by President Ouattara’s government must begin with the release of all Gbagbo supporters.

“Talking about reconciliation, I think that we don’t need to tell anyone that Mr. Gbagbo and his wife should be released and all other fellows from our party. The very condition to go to any reconciliation is to release everybody because we know there is nothing judicial. It is really political,” he said.

Boussi says the Ivorian Popular Front Party does not regret boycotting the recent parliamentary election.

“Let me remind the international community and even the American community that Mr. Ouattara’s party did not take part in the parliamentary election of the year 2000. But right now, everybody is seeing that they are the ruling power, that is to say we don’t need to take part in the parliamentary election to take part in the political life of the Ivorian people,” Boussi said.