Former Ivorian president appears before the International Criminal Court

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Laurent Koudou Gbagbo before the ICC

Former President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d'Ivoire on Monday appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to face charges of crimes against humanity.

The crimes were committed during the violence which followed his refusal to concede defeat to President Alassane Ouattara in last year's presidential elections.

The ICC says Mr. Gbagbo is personally responsible for the crimes, which include murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence.

ICC Spokesperson Fadi El Abdallah says the initial appearance, as in all cases before the court, was for the judges to verify the identity of the suspect.

"They also check and ensure that he is fully aware of the charges that are brought against him and also that he has been informed of his rights before the ICC where all the guarantees for a fair trial and for the respect of the right of the defence are provided for the treaty founding of the ICC. And after that the pre-trial Chamber has fixed the date for the confirmation of charges hearing. That will be on the 18th of June 2012."

Filed under Today's News.
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