Ex-first lady of Ivory Coast Simone Gbagbo, has been charged along with 82 supporters of her husband, over allegations of post-election violence in the country five years ago.
Mrs. Gbagbo, 65, is been tried for “attempting to undermine the security of the state”, and had been held under house arrest for three years, after her husband was ousted in 2011.
The former president Laurent Gbagbo is currently awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, where he faces four-count charges of crimes against humanity, over the death of about 3,000 people in the violence that broke out in 2010.
The ex-president had he refused to cede power to the opposiition head, Alassane Ouattara, who was declared winner of the presidential poll, but was later overthrown with the help of French and UN forces backing President Ouattara, as troops stormed a bunker in which he and his wife had taken refuge, in the main city, Abidjan.
The 69-year-old ex-President has also been charged for murder, rape and persecution. He is the first former head of state to have appeared at the ICC, while the his wife has also been accused by the International Criminal Court.
The Ivorian government however refused to hand Mrs Gbagbo over, insisting that she should be tried in a domestic court.
Ivory Coast former prime minister Gilbert Ake N’Gbo and Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) party head Affi N’Guessan are also being tried along with the former first lady.
Hearings will begin in the case next month.