Cote d’Ivoire Update: Three pro-Gbagbo journalists sentenced; three others acquitted in post-election crisis suit

Three of the six journalists facing criminal charges for their involvement in the 2010-11 post-election crisis in Cote d’Ivoire were sentenced while the remaining three were acquitted of charges.

Serges Boguhet, the former cameraman of the Ivorian Broadcasting Corporation (RTI, a public service broadcaster); Herman Aboa, a journalist with RTI; and Franck Anderson Kouassi, the former chairman of the National Electronic Communication Council, were sentenced to a deferred term of 18 months on charges of “public disorder.”

Since these three journalists had already served more than 24 months in preventive custody, they were released with time served.

The MFWA’s correspondent in Cote d’Ivoire reported that Armand Bohui, who used to work at the Notre Voie newspaper and also the communication department of former First Lady Simone Gbagbo; Norbert Gnahoua Zibrabi, a communications adviser of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo ; and Germain Zézé Kanon, a cameraman at the Presidency during Gbagbo’s term; were acquitted after a few years of detention. Bohui was in preventative custody for two years, while Zibrabi and Kanon were in preventive custody for three years.

The six journalists are among 79 persons who were standing trial for the 2010-2011 post-election conflict in Cote d’Ivoire. Charges were originally brought against 83 persons, but two died during proceedings and two others never appeared before the court. The six media workers’ trial began on December 26, 2014, and concluded on March 10, 2015, with the “outright’’ acquittal of three journalists and the handing down of light, deferred sentences to the three others.

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