Ex-Ivorian leader in custody

June 8, 2012 at 9:46 AM
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ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, June 8 (UPI) -- A one-time minister from Ivory Coast was extradited from Togo after authorities found evidence he was working to create turmoil at home, an official said.

Authorities in Togo returned Moise Lida Kouassi to Ivorian custody. He served as defense minister in 2002 when a coup attempt pushed the country into civil war. He remained a key ally to former President Laurent Gbagbo following a 2010 election crisis that threatened to push Ivory Coast back into civil war.

Ivorian Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said Kouassi had broken the terms of his exile in Togo.

"He broke this duty to keep quiet on several occasions," Bakayoko was quoted by the BBC as saying. "He was found to have compromising documents which implicate him in projects to destabilize Ivory Coast."

Kouassi was transferred to a prison in Abidjan for questioning by Ivorian police regarding his role in the latest national crisis.

Ggabgo is awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of committing crimes against humanity during the post-election conflict. Human rights groups allege that both sides likely committed atrocities during the crisis.

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