Former Ivory Coast Prime Minister Gets Life Sentence In Absentia


Former Ivory Coast Prime Minister Gets Life Sentence in Absentia

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th June, 2021) Guillaume Soro, a former prime minister of Ivory Coast who is living in exile in France, was sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia on Wednesday on charges of undermining the state security.

The opposition politician said in a statement posted on Twitter that he did not agree with the conviction and vowed to fight on. He criticized the court's decision to disband his political movement.

"I totally reject these unfair verdicts," Soro wrote, adding they "reinforced my resolve to fight courageously and tirelessly against state capture in Ivory Coast and control of all its institutions. I will not renounce this fight."

A court in Abidjan tried the 49-year-old and his 19 supporters over "conspiracy," an "attempt to undermine the authority of the state" and "dissemination and publication of fake news discrediting the institutions and their operation, resulting in damage to public morale," according to the Africa Report newspaper.

Soro was the country's prime minister from 2007-2012, the head of parliament from 2012-2019, as well as secretary-general of the rebel coalition of New Forces of Cote d'Ivoire before serving in the government.

In October 2019, Soro announced his intention to run for president in the 2020 Ivorian election. However, his candidature was dismissed due to the criminal sentence. The election was won by incumbent President Alassane Ouattara.