Hearing for spokesman for I.Coast’s Gbagbo delayed

August 31, 2012 1:39 pm


Laurent Gbagbo’s ability to stand trial has been questioned/AFP
ACCRA, Aug 31 – A hearing on Friday over the arrest in Ghana of the spokesman for Ivory Coast’s former president Laurent Gbagbo has been adjourned to next week to allow the judge time to study prosecutors’ arguments.

A new date for Justin Kone Katinan’s case has been set for Wednesday at Ghana’s high court.

The next hearing will take place on Wednesday, September 5, “to enable the judge to study the appeal by the government,” a court clerk told AFP.

Katinan was arrested on August 24 under an Ivory Coast warrant for alleged economic crimes as budget minister during three months of crisis after Gbagbo’s refusal to cede power to rival Alassane Ouattara in December 2010.

He was among thousands of Gbagbo loyalists who fled to Ghana after the fall of his regime following the post-election conflict in which some 3,000 people were killed.

Katinan’s lawyer had filed a habeas corpus application with the human rights division of Ghana’s high court demanding authorities produce him and defend their detention of him.

Prosecutors presented the judge with an affidavit, prompting Friday’s adjournment.

A separate extradition process would occur later if Ghanaian authorities pursue it. Katinan’s lawyers say he cannot be extradited due to his refugee status.

Katinan was among three key Gbagbo allies recently detained.

Their arrests came after a recent series of attacks on an army base, a prison and police stations near the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan, as well as on army posts and a border crossing with Liberia.


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