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Gbagbo and his wife Simone at a hotel in Abidjan in April/AFP

Africa

Gbagbo faces four counts of crimes against humanity

Gbagbo and his wife Simone at a hotel in Abidjan in April/AFP

THE HAGUE, Nov 30 – Laurent Gbagbo faces four counts of crimes against humanity including murder, rape and persecution, the International Criminal Court said on Wednesday after the Ivory Coast ex-president was remanded to its custody.

“Gbagbo allegedly bears individual criminal responsibility, as indirect co-perpetrator, for four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts, allegedly committed in the territory of the Ivory Coast between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011,” the International Criminal Court said in a statement.

The former west African leader arrived in the Netherlands earlier on Wednesday on a plane from the Ivory Coast and was transferred into the custody of the Hague-based court, the ICC confirmed.

A plane carrying the former president landed at Rotterdam airport shortly before 4am (0300 GMT), the ANP news agency reported.

From there, Gbagbo was taken to the ICC detention facilities in The Hague, 20 kilometres away.

Gbagbo, 66, was only informed of his transfer on Tuesday when he was served an international arrest warrant from the ICC, Jean Gbougnon, one of his lawyers in Ivory Coast, told AFP.

He is the first former head of state to be surrendered to the ICC.

Gbagbo was served an arrest warrant, sealed by judges in The Hague on November 23, nearly eight months after refusing to cede power after elections, plunging the country into a crisis that the UN said cost some 3,000 lives.

The ICC has carried out its own investigation parallel to Ivorian justice, looking into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed from December last year until April by both Gbagbo loyalists as well as supporters of new Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara.

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