Former Ivorian first lady Simone Gbagbo looks on at Abidjan's courthouse on October 10, 2016 before the re-opening of her trial
Abidjan (AFP) - The trial of Simone Gbagbo for crimes against humanity resumed Monday, after a two-month break for health reasons, with a witness accusing the Ivory Coast former first lady of having distributed arms following her husband's 2010 election defeat.
"Madame Gbagbo distributed arms to (Abidjan suburb) Abobo", the witness, in his sixties, told the court, speaking of "an atmosphere of fear and trauma" during the post-election violence which left more than 3,000 dead in five months of turmoil nationwide.
Abobo is an area which was supportive of current President Alassane Ouattara, winner of the disputed 2010 election.
Asked by Judge Boiqui Kouadjo whether he himself has seen weapons being handed out the witness replied "I didn't see it happening personally," while adding that he had received a rifle "which was part of that arsenal".
Simone Gbagbo, 67, has been on trial since May 31 for alleged crimes against humanity committed during the post-electoral crisis in 2010-11 which erupted after her husband Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat at the polls.
The trial in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan had been adjourned on August 1 after the former first lady complained she was too tired to proceed.
On Monday she entered court, wearing a flowery dress and looking a little thinner than before, holding the hand of her lawyer Ange Rodrigue Dadje.
Her lawyer dismissed the testimony of Monday's witness as "fabrication", stressing that "this gentleman was a witness to nothing and the victim of nothing." "We are up to the 27th witness and so far none of them have provided any overwhelming evidence against my client," he added.
The defence team also requested that the trial be filmed and aired "so that Ivorians can follow it".
Simone Gbagbo is already serving a 20-year jail term after she was convicted last year of state security offences committed during the five months of conflict that followed the election.
She now stands accused of involvement in the bloody post-election suppression in Abobo as part of a 'crisis cell' which planned and organised attacks by militias and other armed groups.
Laurent Gbagbo was delivered in November 2011 to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where his trial for crimes against humanity began last January.