It’s a resounding blow! Guillaume Soro, former ally of President Alassane Ouatarra, was sentenced to 20 years in prison with an obligation to pay a fine of FCFA 4.5 billion. He was also deprived of his civil rights for five years. He was tried on charges of “embezzlement of public funds” and “money laundering” by the Abidjan Correctional Court, the Ivorian capital, on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
The former leader of the Ivorian rebellion Guillaume Soro, who has already declared himself a candidate for the October 2020 presidential election, has been sentenced to twenty years in prison after a hearing that was boycotted by his lawyers.
The Ivorian state reproaches him for buying his house in 2007 in the residential district of Marcory while he was prime minister. A luxurious house that had cost more than 1.5 billion FCFA. According to the prosecution, this residence acquired through the real estate agency, SCI Ebure, was purchased by funds from the Ivorian treasury.
Guillaume Soro, who currently lives in France, has an arrest warrant against him. The former President of the National Assembly is put in a tight position because this arrest warrant prevents him from running for president in October unless a successful appeal is made.
According to the former prime minister: “This is a sentence that does not move us at all. The parody of the trial that we witnessed today is the ultimate proof that the rule of law is definitively buried by Alassane Ouattara». He also said that he maintained his presidential candidacy: «I remain presidential candidate and I will win» he said.
Guillaume Soro’s lawyer collective, on his side, goes into battle to defend their client. It threatens to initiate international proceedings against the holding of this hearing, the verdict of which heavily condemned their protection. However, on 22 April, the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights had already ordered the Ivorian State to suspend the arrest warrant against Guillaume Soro and release his relatives, 19 of whom had been detained for four months.