December 2, 2011

The International Criminal Court (ICC) Says Former Ivory Coast Leader Laurent Gbagbo Faces 4 Counts Of Crimes Against Humanity Including Murder, Rape And Persecution! YAAAY!

THE HAGUE — Ivorian ex-president Laurent Gbagbo is "in shock" over his sudden transfer to the International Criminal Court to face murder and rape charges, his lawyer Emmanuel Altit told AFP on Friday.

"He is still in shock over the surprise and suddenness of this removal, but at the same time he is lucid and ready to fight," said Altit, who met with his client on Thursday at the ICC's detention centre in a suburb of The Hague.


ABC news, Australia
written by Reuters/AFP staff
Wednesday November 30, 2011

The International Criminal Court says former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo faces four counts of crimes against humanity including murder, rape and persecution.

Gbagbo arrived in the Netherlands early Wednesday to be handed over to the ICC for trial over post-election violence that cost 3,000 lives.

A plane carrying the former president landed at Rotterdam airport a little before 4:00am (local time), ANP reported.

From there, Gbagbo was taken to the ICC detention facilities in The Hague, 20 kilometres away, where he was remanded in custody.

"Gbagbo allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the territory of the Ivory Coast between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011," the ICC said in a statement.

Gbagbo, 66, was only informed of his transfer on Tuesday when he was served an international arrest warrant from the ICC, Jean Gbougnon, one of his lawyers in Ivory Coast, said.

He is the first former head of state to be surrendered to the ICC.

Ivory Coast's new rulers had been pressing for weeks to have Gbagbo transferred to The Hague and the move comes less than two weeks before the December 11 legislative elections in Ivory Coast.

For months since his arrest in Abidjan on April 11, he had been held in Korhogo in the north of the country as Ivorian investigators built a case against him.

At home, Gbagbo faced charges for "economic crimes" allegedly committed during the political crisis and conflict triggered by his refusal to hand over power, which sparked the deadly post-election conflict.

But the ICC had launched its own investigation.

Both sides
Last month, its judges allowed prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to probe alleged post-election war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by forces loyal to Gbagbo - but also those loyal to new Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara.

And Human Rights Watch, while welcoming news of Gbagbo's transfer to the ICC, made it clear the forces loyal to Mr Ouattara also had to answer for alleged atrocities.

"The ICC is playing its part to show that even those at the highest levels of power cannot escape justice when implicated in grave crimes," said Elise Keppler, HRW's senior international justice counsel.

She added that the ICC should also make sure it investigated both sides as "the many victims of abuse meted out by the forces loyal to president Ouattara also deserve to see justice done".

In Ivory Coast the leaders of three small pro-Gbagbo parties announced they were pulling out of the December vote in protest at the transfer, which they argued would hamper national reconciliation.

In Paris, Lucie Bourthoumieux, another lawyer for Gbagbo, said: "This decision by the ICC is illegal and goes against the interests of the country and of national reconciliation."

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