5 Gbagbo loyalists sentenced in Ivory Coast

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Associated Press

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 11 at 5:04 PM

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Ivory Coast's military tribunal on Thursday handed down the first verdict related to last year's post-election conflict, finding five men guilty in the kidnapping and murder of a colonel at the height of the violence in March 2011.

Kady Fofana, communications chief for the tribunal, said that Gen. Bruno Dogbo Ble, the feared head of ex-President Laurent Gbagbo's Republican Guard, received a 15-year sentence. Four other men received sentences of five to 15 years, she said.

The violence erupted after former Gbagbo refused to cede office despite losing the November 2010 presidential runoff vote to now-President Alassane Ouattara.

Though a government inquiry found that grave crimes were committed by both sides, only Gbagbo loyalists have been charged and detained in connection with the post-election violence, sparking allegations of victor's justice.

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