Abehi was a right-hand man to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in 2011 after a bloody post-electoral crisis.. By SIA KAMBOU (AFP/File)
A key figure in the security apparatus that underpinned Ivory Coast’s ousted leader was jailed for 10 years for taking part in an alleged plot to overthrow his successor.
Major Jean-Noel Abehi was a right-hand man to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in 2011 after a bloody post-electoral crisis.
Abehi was given a 10-year term on Thursday for “plotting against the authority of the state,” an AFP reporter at the court in Abidjan saw.
According to the charge sheet, Abehi took part in meetings in Ghana of a “military platform” initiated by Gbagbo’s spokesman in exile, Kone Katinan, “to prepare to overthrow the established political authority.”
Ggabo was forced out after months of violence that followed his refusal to step down when rival Alassane Ouattara won elections in November 2010. At least 3,000 people were killed.
Gbagbo was arrested with the help of UN and French troops, and handed over to the International Criminal Court, where he faces four charges, including murder, rape and persecution.
Abehi commanded an armoured squadron at the Agban paramilitary police barracks in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan.
The trial is the latest in a string of prosecutions of figures associated with the Gbagbo regime.
On December 26, Hubert Oulaye, 64, Gbagbo’s ex-minister for public works, was sentenced to 20 years for complicity in a 2012 attack in western Ivory Coast that killed 18 people, including seven UN peacekeepers.