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Updated Apr 28, 2020
In this file photo taken on January 29, 2020 Former rebel leader and would-be Ivory Coast presidential candidate Guillaume Soro poses during a photo session in Paris. An Ivory Coast court on April 28, 2020, sentenced former prime minister Guillaume Soro to 20 years in jail on charges of embezzlement and money laundering. Soro, a former rebel leader and a candidate in presidential elections this October, currently lives in exile in France.  Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP
Guillaume Soro, former prime minister of Côte d’Ivoire and would-be presidential candidate, photographed in Paris on January 29, 2020. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP)

 

The trial of Guillaume Soro, the former Ivorian prime minister who is accused of plotting an uprising against the government of President Alassane Ouattara and of embezzling public funds, starts today, April 28, in the capital Yamoussoukro. Soro has lived in exile in France since the arrest warrant issued in December prevented him from returning to Côte d’Ivoire from Europe, so the trial is continuing in his absence.

 

Soro has denied any wrongdoing.

 

The African Court on Human and People’s Rights (CADHP) has urged the West African nation to suspend the arrest warrant against Soro and release nineteen associates of his who have been detained as political prisoners.

Jeune Afrique reports that the decision to continue with the trial may be an attempt by the Ouattara administration to withdraw Côte d’Ivoire from the CADHP protocol, as its neighbor Benin did not too long ago.

 

Upcoming Presidential Election

Soro has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyers have denounced the trial as an attempt at preventing him from running as a candidate in the presidential election, which is set to be held on October 31, 2020. President Ouattara, who has served as president for two terms and will not run for re-election, is expected to back his current prime minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, for president.

 

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