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Prosecutor: Gbagbo unleashed unspeakable violence in Ivory Coast



by Joseph Earnest January 28, 2016


Newscast Media THE HAGUELaurent Gbagbo, the first African head of state to stand trial for war crimes in The Hague, has pleaded not guilty. The trial, which will last months, will focus on Ivory Coast's post-election civil war in 2010-11.

The prosecutor for the International Criminal Court in The Hague told the court that she would call 138 witnesses to testify during the war crimes trial of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo.

On the trial's opening day, Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the three-judge panel that her list of witnesses included both victims of attacks including rapes and gang rapes, as well as members of Gbagbo's inner circle.

Some will reportedly testify that Gbagbo began planning post-election violence long before the 2010 vote got underway.

Prosecutors accuse him of unleashing a wave of "unspeakable violence" in a desperate attempt to cling to power in the weeks after losing the West African country's 2010 election to President Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo on Thursday pleaded not guilty to crimes against humanity during Ivory Coast's post-election civil war, which lasted four months and left 3000 people dead.

"Nothing would be allowed to defeat Mr. Gbagbo," Bensouda told the court. "If politics failed, violence was seen as politics by other means."

Also pleading innocent to war crimes charges was former Youth Minister Charles Ble Goude.

Bensouda described him as a "self-proclaimed general of the streets" who "manipulated the youth with hateful rhetoric."

Specifically, Gbagbo, 70, and Ble Goude, 44, are facing four charges of crimes against humanity , including murder, rape and persecution.   Add Comments>>

Source: Deutsche Welle














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