Ivory Coast former rebel leader and prime minister Guillaume Soro was Wednesday sentenced to a life in prison for plotting to overthrow the government at the end of 2019.
Soro, 49, was tried and sentenced in absentia. Two other defendants, his close associates Souleymane Kamagate and Affoussy Bamba, received 20-year sentences.
Two of Soro’s brothers and his former aide Alain Lobognon got 17-month jail terms for “disturbing public order”.
The court also ordered the confiscation of the assets of Soro, who lives in exile, and those of his 19 co-defendants and the dissolution of Generations and Solidary Movement for “subversive acts”.
It also ordered them to pay one billion CFA francs (150 million euros) to the Ivorian state.
The former rebel chief’s scheduled return to the Ivory Coast in December 2019 after a six-month absence to be a candidate in the following year’s ballot had raised tensions in the West African country, where a 2010-2011 election ended in deadly violence between rival supporters.
Soro then aborted his planned return by diverting his flight to Ghana as security forces stormed his party headquarters in Abidjan.