By Ebi Kesiena
The Ivorian League for Women’s Rights has asked for help with legal support for a woman accusing Ivorian Minister for Reconciliation, Kouadio Konan Bertin of rape.
According to the League’s officials, the victim’s lawyer has “withdrawn” and the association has no money to pay another lawyer.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Legal Officer for the Ivorian League for Women’s rights Carelle Goli noted that it had become extremely difficult to get a lawyer.
“In this kind of case it’s extremely, extremely difficult to get a lawyer to go with you. The name, the reputation of the clients, everything you can imagine is at stake. Also there is the obstacle of payment,” she said.
Recall that Prosecutors in the country had stated that they had opened an investigation into a rape accusation against former the presidential candidate.
The prosecutor’s office stated that the young woman filed a complaint with the police and a judicial investigation is under way, adding that Bertin had filed a suit against her for libel.
In an audio message disseminated on the internet recently, an Ivorian-Cameroonian artist who said she had worked with Bertin, alleged that in April she had been forcibly taken to Divo, a town 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of Abidjan, where she was raped.
Bertin, commonly known by his initials of KKB, was the only contender against incumbent President Alassane Ouattara in last October’s elections.