Bail denied for Gbagbo spokesman

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IOL pic aug25 ivory coast laurent gbagbo

Reuters

Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo is currently under house arrest. Photo: Luc Gnago

Accra -

A Ghanaian judge on Thursday denied bail for the spokesman for Ivory Coast's ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo and set an extradition case for him for next week following his arrest.

“While declining bail, I'll urge the prosecution to expedite the extradition processes by filing the requisite documents by Thursday, 13th September,” magistrate court judge Aboagye Tandoh said.

A hearing is to be held on the same date, according to the court clerk.

Prosecutors are seeking to extradite Justin Kone Katinan back to Ivory Coast following his August 24 arrest in Ghana, where he and thousands of other Gbagbo loyalists fled after the fall of his regime.

He is wanted in Ivory Coast for alleged economic crimes as budget minister during the crisis that followed Gbagbo's refusal to cede power to rival Alassane Ouattara after losing an election to him in November 2010.

His arrest however 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.

A Ghanaian high court judge on Wednesday ruled that Katinan's detention was lawful.

Prosecutors had expected the extradition case to begin Thursday, but Katinan's lawyer requested bail, triggering the denial by the magistrate court judge.

Katinan's lawyers argue that he cannot be extradited because he holds refugee status in Ghana.

Ghana President John Dramani Mahama met with his Ivory Coast counterpart Ouattara on Wednesday as part of a regional tour and said that he would not let Ivorian exiles plot attacks on their home country from Ghanaian soil.

Ivory Coast's five-month post-election conflict killed about 3 000 people. - Sapa-AFP


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