Ivory Coast’s public prosecutor says former rebel leader and presidential candidate, Guillaume Soro, could face life imprisonment over allegedly plotting a coup that involved amassing weapons.
The Ivorian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Soro on Monday, prompting him to call off a planned homecoming after several months overseas.
The warrant is likely to increase tensions ahead of an October 2020 presidential election that is seen as a test of Ivory Coast’s stability after two civil wars, since the turn of the century.
During a news conference, Ivory Coast’s public prosecutor,Richard Adou played a recording made by the Ivorian intelligence services, in which Guillaume Soro could allegedly be heard planning a coup.
The penalty for attempting a plot against state security is a life sentence
Soro’s lawyer and spokeswoman Affoussy Bamba Lamine did not deny the authenticity of the recording presented by prosecutors, but stressed that it was from 2017 and incomplete and a full version of the audio soon.
Investigation was ongoing.