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Côte d’Ivoire: Guillaume Soro launches legal counterattack in Paris

By Vincent Duhem
Posted on Monday, 27 January 2020 09:12, updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 10:22

The former President of the National Assembly Guillaume Soro, in 2011. Rebecca Blackwell/AP/SIPA

The former president of the National Assembly filed a complaint in France against the public prosecutor, Richard Adou, and three people involved in the recording that led to his being accused of undermining state security.

Guillaume Soro, the former president of the Côte d’Ivoire National Assembly, accused of undermining state security, embezzlement of public funds and money laundering by the Ivorian judiciary, has filed a complaint in France.

The complaint was filed by Soro’s lawyers on 21 January in Paris with the State Prosecutor and concerns four individuals: Francis Perez, Olivier Bazin, Akim Laacher, and Richard Adou.

  • The first three are charged with “unlawful capture of private life”, “transmission of an unlawful capture”, and “dissemination of an unlawful recording”.
  • Richard Adou, the public prosecutor of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, is targeted for “broadcasting an illicit recording” and “attempts to defraud the court”.

The accused

Perez is a prominent figure in the Corsican networks on the continent.

He was introduced to Soro in 2012, when the latter was prime minister, by the Burkinabe head of government, Tertius Zongo, and became Soro’s advisor.

Olivier Bazin is a close associate of Robert Montoya, a former policeman who turned his hand to selling arms in Africa.

Audio recording

The two men are at the heart of the recording released by Richard Adou at a press conference on 26 December to justify the accusations that the former president of the National Assembly breached state security.

The recording took place a few weeks after the May 2017 mutinies at Soro’s Abidjan home in Marcory Résidentiel. Perez and Bazin were present.

On the tape, he is heard discussing his support within the army, including that of the “comzones” (zone commanders), who led the Forces Nouvelles rebellion with Soro after 2002.

Soro also says that he is “positioned everywhere” and has the “remote control” to take action. The conversation was recorded by Bazin and the former president of the National Assembly, who suspected a frame-up, according to his relatives.

Akim Laacher is said to have recorded private conversations with Soro, according to Soro’s entourage.

  • The 27-year-old Franco-Algerian had met the former prime minister in 2017 in Paris.
  • Close to the former UMP party, he was once in a relationship with a daughter of a former French Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin.

 

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