The Former Ivoirian president Laurent Gbagbo’s trial at the ICC began on January 28, 2016.
On January 28, 2016, the long-awaited trial of Laurent Gbagbo, former president of Côte d’Ivoire, and his associate, Charles Blé Goudé, began at the International Criminal Court(ICC) at The Hague.
Gbagbo was the first ex-president and the highest ranking official to stand trial at the ICC, and the case was seen as a test of the court’s ability.
Both men were charged with crimes against humanity, stemming from their alleged actions during the period of violence that occurred after the disputed outcome of the November 2010 presidential election. Both Gbabgo and his challenger, Alassane Ouattara, had claimed victory, and, although Ouattara had the support of the international community, Gbagbo refused to step down. In December Ouattara established a parallel administration.
The election dispute led to a political stalemate that adversely affected the country’s people and economy and begat much violence between Gbagbo’s forces and those that supported Ouattara; there were many allegations of human rights abuses having occurred on both sides. The crisis largely ended when Gbagbo was arrested in April 2011.
Later that year he was extradited to the ICC, where he was charged with four counts of crimes against humanity for alleged “indirect co-perpetration” of acts of murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution, and other inhuman acts
He entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.
Many of Gbagbo’s supporters were angered that the ICC had not yet brought charges against any of Ouattara’s supporters.
In response, Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, noted that her office was investigating pro-Ouattara individuals and promised to “leave no stone unturned” in examining the allegations of crimes committed by both sides in the conflict.
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