Ivory Coast's Gbagbo gets day in court

2011-12-05 16:16

The Hague - Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo has appeared at the International Criminal Court, the first former head of state to face judges at the world's first permanent war crimes court.

Gbagbo was calm and smiled at supporters in the public gallery as the 25-minute hearing opened Monday. He told judges he did not need them to read the charges against him.

Gbagbo was extradited to the Netherlands last week to face charges including murder and rape committed by supporters as he attempted to cling to power. Prosecutors say about 3 000 people died in violence by both sides after Gbagbo refused to concede electoral defeat.

President Alassane Ouattara took power in April with the help of French and UN forces.

During the former president's brief hearing before the court, based in The Hague, judges decided that he must reappear on June 18 for a confirmation of charges hearing when he will learn whether he must stand trial.

  • Phumezo - 2011-12-05 16:26

    It is Alassane Outtara who is supposed to be at the Hauge not Gbagbo for stealing elections and murdering his own people! Gbagbo was overthrown by Nicolas Sarkozy for refusing to tow the line! As Africans we should all reject drunk institutions like the ICC including and our own courts who are hell bent on keeping Africa and blacks in particular in dark ages.

      Brian - 2011-12-05 16:33

      Phumezo do you remember when George Bush won against Al Gore, hardly fair. Do you remember how everyone rallied behind their opponents and began a slaughter to battle for victory... You dont!!! It is Africans themselves that keep Africa in the dark ages.

  • Thabang - 2011-12-05 17:02

    This is ludicrous..I fail to understand why African Leaders are the only ones extradited and persecuted by the ICC... What a system

  • Benxzo - 2011-12-05 17:04

    Weird enough, there will always be some people thinking the whole world was wrong and GBAGBO was right! Crimes and other violations of human rights occurred as a result of Gbagbo refusing to leave power after being defeated in the election. And there is a price for that!!!! Ocampo said it so well, "Oh my .igga you aint the 1st and you aint gon' be the last, damn it!" So let's wait and see. But I am happy cause at least that whole thing tells us that you can't commit crimes in Africa and get away with that anymore...the world is watching!

  • Mkulisi - 2011-12-05 17:28

    Asmuch as I support the arrest of these african warlords but you cant help feel the hypocrisy of these multilateral institutions,If the world was fair and just George Bush and Tony Blair would have a case to answer to.

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