Laurent Gbagbo, the biggest fish

2011-11-30 20:52

kalahari.com

The Hague - The arrival of ex-Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo to face justice before the International Criminal Court has handed prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo the court's "biggest fish" on a platter, experts said on Wednesday.

"It's certainly a big fish, the largest to date," said Willem van Genugten, international law professor at the southern Tilburg University.

Gbagbo is the first former head of state to face trial before the ICC.

Now behind bars at the court's detention unit in The Hague, Gbagbo is the sixth suspect to be handed over to the ICC, which does not have its own police to make arrests.

Previously former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba had been the most senior politician in the ICC's custody, Van Genugten said.

"There have been other warrants, such as the one against Omar al-Bashir, but well, it's not working," added Goran Sluiter, international criminal law professor at Amsterdam University, referring to the Sudanese president who has been sought by the court since 2009.

Bashir continues to thumb his nose at the ICC, where he is wanted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur. He also continues to travel the world, including to countries which signed the ICC's Rome Statute and are supposed to help the court by arresting its suspects.

"I think the Ivory Coast realises it's unable to secure a fair trial [against Gbagbo], which is why it asked the ICC to do so," Van Genugten said.

President Alassane Ouattara, Gbagbo's former rival, asked the ICC on May 3 to probe the "most serious crimes" committed in the Ivory Coast following the second round of a presidential poll on November 28 last year.

Victor's justice

The west African country's new rulers had been pressing for weeks to have him transferred to ICC headquarters in The Hague and the move came less than two weeks before the December 11 legislative elections in the former French colony.

"In other words, Luis Moreno-Ocampo did not have to do much," said Van Genugten.

Sluiter added: "Let's not forget that [Gbagbo] is someone who has lost power, is on the losing side and was already in jail," as he warned against what he termed "victors' justice".

Sluiter pointed out Moreno-Ocampo's pledge that both sides will be investigated in the conflict that, according to the United Nations, left some 3 000 dead.

"It's a bit as if he said both sides will be investigated just for form's sake," Sluiter added.

The international law professor did recognise however that for "practical reasons" it was easier to judge losers before the winners, especially to ensure co-operation as long as possible.

Gbagbo's transfer came in the twilight of Moreno-Ocampo's tenure as the ICC's chief prosecutor, a few months before the end of his mandate in June 2012. His successor is to be chosen in December.

"I do not know what the contribution of Luis Moreno-Ocampo was but of course it is very convenient for him that it happened at that time," said Christophe Paulussen, a researcher at the Asser Institute, specialising in international justice.

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, and...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.