Former prime minister Guillaume Soro was sentenced to life in prison in absentia by an Ivory Coast court on Wednesday for plotting a coup against President Alassane Ouattara.
The exiled Soro was charged with conspiracy and an attempt to attack state authority. Previously, his lawyers have called the charges politically motivated and said there was no evidence to show he was guilty.
As a result of the case, tensions have risen in a country still recovering from a brief civil war a decade ago, during which Soro led the rebels that helped Ouattara take power after a disputed election.
Eventually, Soro served as prime minister and speaker of parliament under Ouattara, but the two fell out when the president decided to oppose Soro’s own bid for the presidency.