News / Africa

Ivory Coast Minister: Local Courts Can Try Gbagbo

Gbagbo and wife Simone sit in a room at Hotel Golf after they were arrested, Abidjan, April 11, 2011.Gbagbo and wife Simone sit in a room at Hotel Golf after they were arrested, Abidjan, April 11, 2011.
x
Gbagbo and wife Simone sit in a room at Hotel Golf after they were arrested, Abidjan, April 11, 2011.
Gbagbo and wife Simone sit in a room at Hotel Golf after they were arrested, Abidjan, April 11, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +
— Ivory Coast Justice Minister Gnenema Coulibaly said Monday that the country’s courts are capable of trying former First Lady Simone Gbagbo, who is wanted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, but said no official decision had been made on where her trial would take place.
 
Simone Gbagbo is wanted on four counts of crimes against humanity related to Ivory Coast’s 2010-11 post-election violence.
 
The conflict erupted after her husband, former President Laurent Gbagbo, refused to cede office after losing the November 2010 runoff vote to current President Alassane Ouattara. More than 3,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were displaced, according to United Nations estimates.
 
Laurent Gbagbo was transferred to The Hague soon after his arrest warrant was unsealed in November 2011, making him the first former head of state to be taken into the court’s custody. But the government has still not issued a formal response to Simone Gbagbo’s arrest warrant, which was unsealed five months ago.
 
Monday’s press conference was the first for Coulibaly since assuming the role of justice minister last November. He outlined a plan to create “a reformed and modern judiciary” by 2015. The plan includes improvements to detention conditions and some legal reforms.
 
But Coulibaly also said the judiciary had come a long way since the former president was transferred to the ICC, which is why the government may move to try Simone Gbagbo locally.
 
"The ICC can pursue suspects if the state does not have the willingness or the capacity to do it themselves, but the functioning of Ivory Coast's judiciary is at a very high level," he said, calling it "more interesting" to hold trial in Ivory Coast because the nation's courts want to show the aptitude of its magistrates.
 
Coulibaly assured that Gbagbo would benefit from a fair trial and the responded to allegations from a U.N. expert panel that President Ouattara’s military backers are making vast sums of money off of illegal smuggling of cocoa and other resources as well as extortion.
 
The claims were published in a report last Thursday that singled out former leaders of the New Forces rebel group who helped bring Ouattara to power during the 2010-11 post-election fighting and now occupy top security positions.
 
The report says these officials are engaged in “warlord-style predatory economic activities, which they have now extended to the entire Ivorian territory.”
 
Coulibaly said the government would not protect the suspects if the claims against them were proven true.
 
"They are open to these denunciations, that if the U.N. states there is proof against people implicated in trafficking, they need to receive this proof and undertake investigations," he said, adding that neither the president nor government cannot protect someone who steals, and if it is a military person has stolen, then he will appear before the military tribunal.
 
The expert panel called on the government to “immediately dismantle” the alleged criminal network.

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