ICC declines Gbagbo’s request to have trial held in Abidjan

first_imgThe International Criminal Court has declined former Cote d’Ivoire president Laurent Gbagbo’s request to have his trial held in Abidjan, citing security risks and logistical difficulties.Gbagbo’s lawyers last month filed a request to have his impending trial moved to the Southern Ivorian capital, or alternatively in Arusha, Tanzania.The former president who was forced out of power by forced allied to Alassane Ouattara after refusing to concede defeat in the 2010 polls  is due to face the ICC alongside his former army chief Charles Ble Goude on November 10, over their roles in the post-election violence that led to massive loss of lives in Cote d’Ivoire.“After paying particular regard to the security risks and the logistical implications, the ICC cannot recommend that the opening statements be held in either Abidjan or Arusha,” a three-bench judge said in a court document.“For this reason the Chamber dismisses the request,” the judges said.Prosecutors however pointed out that possible benefit would be outweighed by the security concerns, including the fact that the hearings could lead to violent demonstrations.Gbagbo, who was transferred to The Hague in November 2011, is the first former head of state to be prosecuted by the ICC, the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal.last_img

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