News / Europe

ICC Holds Pre-trial Hearings for Former Ivorian Leader

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, back row center, attends confirmation of charges hearing, International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, Feb. 19, 2013.
Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo, back row center, attends confirmation of charges hearing, International Criminal Court, The Hague, Netherlands, Feb. 19, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Bryant
Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo listened soberly Tuesday afternoon as the International Criminal Court in The Hague conducted a pre-trial hearing to determine whether he should face charges of crimes against humanity.
 
At issue: Whether the 67-year-old Gbagbo will become the first ex-head of state to stand full trial at the ICC on accusations that he ordered his forces to murder, rape and commit other heinous acts during post-election violence in 2010.
 
Roughly 3,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands uprooted following a disputed presidential poll that eventually saw Alassane Ouattara installed as Ivory Coast's new leader.
 
The former West African leader was shipped off to the ICC after months of detention in northern Ivory Coast. He insists he was resisting a pro-Ouattara rebellion from the north.
 
Gbagbo occasionally nodded as his defense lawyer Dov Jacobs argued that his client should be tried in Ivory Coast, not in the Netherlands.
 
"[He] should not face trial at The Hague for a number of reasons, including ... vagueness of the accusations," said Jacobs, adding that tribunal officials should await more details from Ivorian cases against his client's former collaborators, including Gbagbo's wife Simone and youth movement leader Charles Ble Goude.
 
The ICC issued an arrest warrant against Simone, but so far she has not been extradited from Ivory Coast.
 
Outside the courtroom, roughly 300 demonstrators called for charges against Gbagbo to be dropped. Inside the court, prosecutors tried to dismantle the defense's arguments one by one.
 
"The defense alleges a lack of specificity in the charges and it says the main charge is not mentioned in the document apart from the title," said one prosecutor. "That with all due respect … is an inaccurate submission."
 
Gbagbo is not expected to address the court until later next week. The hearing is scheduled to last until February 28th, and court officials have two months to decide whether to bring the case to trial.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid