March 18, 2016 / 5:43 PM / in 2 years

Former first leady Simone Gbagbo to face trial in Ivory Coast in April

Ivory Coast's former first lady Simone Gbagbo (L) looks on as she attends the first day of her trial at the Palace of Justice in Abidjan December 26, 2014. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

(Reuters) - A former first lady of Ivory Coast will go on trial on April 25 for crimes against humanity for her role in a 2011 crisis in which around 3,000 people were killed, her lawyer said on Friday.

Simone Gbagbo, who is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, has already been sentenced to 20 years in jail for crimes including disturbing the peace, organizing armed gangs and undermining state security.

The charges stem from a brief civil war that broke out when her husband, then-president Laurent Gbagbo, refused to accept his defeat by Alassane Ouattara in a 2010 election. He is now accused of crimes against humanity and awaits trial at the ICC.

Ivory Coast refused to transfer Simone Gbagbo to The Hague to face similar charges, however, arguing that she could receive a fair trial in a domestic court.

The Gbagbo trials have reopened divisions in a nation still recovering from years of political turmoil and conflict. Gbagbo supporters claim the legal action is politically motivated.

Reporting by Ange Aboa; writing by Edward McAllister, editing by Larry King

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