Simone, the wife of Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo arrives at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan after her arrest on April 11, 2011. Ivory Coast leader Alassane Ouattara's forces, backed by French and UN troops, captured his besieged rival Laurent Gbagbo in Abidjan today at the climax of a deadly five-month crisis. Gbagbo, who has held power since 2000 and stubbornly refused to admit defeat in November's presidential election, was detained and taken to his rival's temporary hotel headquarters, with his wife Simone and son Michel. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

 

PARIS (AP) — Ivory Coast’s president is leaving open the possibility that his country won’t hand over the wife of ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court, which has indicted her on charges including murder, rape and persecution.

Alassane Ouattara, visiting France, told reporters Tuesday that Ivory Coast may try Simone Gbagbo itself.

Her husband is already held in The Hague facing similar charges stemming from his fight to retain power after losing a 2010 presidential election to Ouattara. Violence by supporters of both men killed 3,000.

Last month, the ICC unsealed its indictment against Simone Gbagbo — its first charges against a woman. She’s seen as an “indirect co-perpetrator.”

But Ouattara said Ivory Coast would reply “in the weeks or months ahead,” adding that “she could be judged in Ivory Coast.”

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.