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Côte d'Ivoire - ICC

Gbagbo arrives at International Criminal Court

Reuters/Michael Kooren

The ex-president of Côte d’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, was handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Wednesday to face charges of crimes against humanity. He will be the first former head of state to stand before the body.

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Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has pledged to bring more people to account over Côte d’Ivoire’s post-election violence that killed 3,000 people.

Gbagbo was remanded in court custody early on Wednesday after flying into the Netherlands by chartered plane from Côte d’Ivoire, where he had been under
arrest since April.

"Gbagbo allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect coperpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts," the ICC said in a statement.

Violence erupted in 16 December 2010 when Gbagbo refused to step down after a presidential election whose results were hotly contested. He was arrested on 11 April 2012.

"Ivorian victims will see justice for massive crimes: Mr Gbagbo is first to be brought to account, there is more to come," Moreno-Ocampo said.

A first appearance, where his identity will be confirmed, the charges will be read against him and he will be informed of his rights, is expected to take place on Thursday or Friday.

Francis Dako, the ICC’s African coordinator at the Coalition has called for perpetrators loyal to current President Alassane Ouattara to be charged as well as Gbagbo and his supporters.

"A decision to go after the defeated president alone at this point is likely to be explosive on the ground," Dako said.

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.

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