Gbagbo hearing urgent - ICC judge

2012-12-11 22:31
Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. (AFP)

Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Hague - A hearing to decide if ex-Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo should go on trial for crimes against humanity, allegedly committed in the west African country, should be held without further delay, an International Criminal Court judge said on Tuesday.

"It's been a year that we have had a procedure that's not started yet. It's imperative that we have a confirmation of charges hearing as soon as possible," judge Sylvia Fernandez de Gurmendi said.

She then mooted a date in February next year as a possibility.

The former Ivorian strongman, who made his initial appearance before the Hague-based court on 5 December last year, has to face a confirmation of charges hearing at which judges will decide whether or not to put him on trial, based on prosecution evidence.

Gbagbo faces four counts of crimes against humanity - murder, persecution, rape and other sexual violence, and other inhumane acts stemming from violence after he lost presidential polls in Ivory Coast in November 2010.

But his confirmation of charges hearing has been delayed several times, including by applications by his lawyers to appoint doctors to determine whether he was fit to stand trial and to have him released pending a possible appearance in the dock.

The ICC in June appointed three doctors to assess Gbagbo's health, at the request of his lawyers who said he was tortured during his detention last year by forces loyal to rival and current Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.

The court however ruled on 2 November that he was well enough to be tried but that his health condition may require special measures. Earlier in the year it rejected the defence's request for a provisional release, saying Gbagbo posed too much of a flight risk.

The former long-time president, who first came to power in October 2000, refused to acknowledge an election loss to Ouattara, a decision that plunged the world's largest cocoa grower into its second armed conflict in a decade.

Holed up in the commercial capital Abidjan, Gbagbo was eventually ousted in April 2011, following two weeks of fierce street fighting that is estimated to have cost 3 000 lives in the west African country.

He was then moved to Korhogo in the north of the country, until he was transferred to ICC custody seven months later on the strength of an international arrest warrant.

Read more on:    alassane ouattara  |  laurent gbagbo  |  ivory coast  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.