Simone Gbagbo, the former First Lady of the Ivory Coast, has had her arrest warrant lifted by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
According to a decision made public Thursday, the International Criminal Court has lifted its arrest order for Ivory Coast’s former first lady Simone Gbagbo over post-election violence that killed hundreds in 2010-2011.
Following her husband’s reluctance to hand over power to Alassane Ouattara, who won a 2010 election, Simone Gbagbo was charged with crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, inhuman actions, and persecution.
The unrest claimed the lives of over 3,000 individuals.
In a seven-page judgement reviewed by AFP and dated July 19, the court said, “The chamber believes it acceptable to rule that the warrant of arrest for Simone Gbagbo shall cease to have effect.”
“Madame Simone Gbagbo has received some good news… Her lawyer, Ange Rodrigue Dadje, said in a statement to AFP that she can now travel freely around the world.
Laurent Gbagbo was cleared of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in March, and he returned to Ivory Coast on June 17 after ten years in prison in The Hague, where the ICC is situated, and later in Belgium.
Although Simone Gbagbo was not handed over to the ICC, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison by an Ivorian court in 2015 for endangering state security.
Following a presidential amnesty, she was released on August 8, 2018.
President Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo met for the first time in over a decade on Tuesday, and Ouattara declared that the turbulence was “behind us.”
Laurent Gbagbo sought a divorce upon his return to Ivory Coast, citing the 72-year-old Simone’s “repeated unwillingness over the years to consent to an amicable split.”
They have two daughters and married in 1989.
Gbagbo, who is 76 years old, is currently married to Nady Bamba, a 47-year-old former journalist.