| Ivory Coast pro-Laurent Gbagbo General Dogbo Ble on trial
02 October 2012, BBC
A key ally of Ivory Coast's former
President Laurent Gbagbo has gone on trial in Abidjan, in the first case of
those accused over the 2010-11 post-election violence.
General Dogbo Ble was the commander of the Republican Guard under Mr
He and seven other security officials are accused of murdering a colonel
during the six-month crisis.
Mr Gbagbo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court. He denies
charges of crimes against humanity.
Ivory Coast has recently accused Gbagbo loyalists based in neighbouring Ghana
of carrying out cross-border raids to destabilise the government of President
The BBC's John James in Abidjan says that Gen Ble, who is from the same
ethnic group as Mr Gbagbo, became the dominant military commander during the
2011 battle for control of Ivory Coast's main city, operating from a
well-fortified base at the presidential palace.
He was one of the few generals not to switch allegiance to President Ouattara
as the fighting came to a close.
Human rights activists have welcomed his trial but warn that it must appear
to be fair otherwise it could further heighten political tensions in Ivory
Gen Ble has not yet entered a plea in the military court. Three of the
accused are being tried in absentia.Bullet-riddled
Colonel-Major Adama Dosso disappeared on 12 March 2011, at the height of the
Prosecutors say he was kidnapped and then taken to the Republican Guard base,
where he was allegedly interrogated by Gen Ble.
Col Dosso's body was later found, riddled with bullets, in a grave near the
country's main highway.
There had been speculation that Col Dosso was about to pledge allegiance to
On Monday, Mr Gbagbo's former spokesman Justin Kone Katinan was charged with
murder linked to the post-election violence by the Ghanaian authorities, paving
the way for his extradition.
Gen Ble was also charged in a separate case on Monday by a military court -
over the 2002 killing of former coup leader Gen Robert Guei, a bitter rival of
Mr Gbagbo was arrested in April 2011 by pro-Ouattara forces backed up by UN
and French troops.