- Five Ivorian ministers are waiting to serve as witnesses in the high-profile cocoa industry case launched by the Côte d’Ivoire government in June.
The Abijan prosecuting authority's inquiry led to the arrest of key leaders of the West African country's cocoa industry managing structures accused of embezzlement.
A government spokesman and minister for African Integration Amadou Koné said the ministers' appearance, approved by the cabinet, was in response to a request from the department of public prosecution.
Judicial officials have been launching an inquiry into embezzlement in the cocoa industry.
A statement issued by the cabinet after a meeting said the ministers' appearance before a judge on the saga portrays the government's desire for a thorough inquiry.
During the initial inquiry, accused persons claimed they had got the approval of supervising ministry on all financial operations to purchase controversial property and buildings.
The ministers, who were not accused of any wrong doing, have been summoned to shed light on some crucial points. They are senior minister for Planning and Development, Paul Antoine Bouhon Bouabré, Economy and Finance Minister Charles Diby Koffi, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, minister of Agriculture and his two predecessors, Alphonse Douaty and Sébastien Djédjé Dano.
Côte d’Ivoire remains the world's leading cocoa producer, accounting over 40% of export products and CFA8,000 billion of the GDP. Over seven million Ivorians depend on the industry for survival.
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