New suspect in the ICC's custody: Laurent Gbagbo arrived at the detention centre

By International Criminal Court (ICC)

THE HAGUE, Netherland, November 30, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- New suspect in the ICC's custody: Laurent Gbagbo arrived at the detention centre

Situation: Côte d'Ivoire

Case: The Prosecutor v. Laurent Koudou Gbagbo

Laurent Koudou Gbagbo, national of Côte d'Ivoire, 66 years, arrived today at the International Criminal Court (ICC) detention centre in the Netherlands. He was surrendered to the ICC on 29 November 2011 by the national authorities of Côte d´Ivoire following a warrant of arrest issued under seal by the judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber III on 23 November 2011. The suspect's initial appearance hearing before the Pre-Trial Chamber III, composed of Judges Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi (presiding judge), Elizabeth Odio Benito and Adrian Fulford, will be held promptly.

Mr 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 Côte d'Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.

The date and time of the initial appearance hearing will be announced on the ICC Twitter account followed by a press release.

Factual allegations

Pre-Trial Chamber III found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that in the aftermath of the presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire pro-Gbagbo forces attacked the civilian population in Abidjan and in the west of the country, from 28 November 2010 onwards, targeting civilians who they believed were supporters of the opponent candidate. Allegedly, the attacks were committed pursuant to an organisational policy and were also widespread and systematic as they were committed over an extended time period, over large geographic areas, and following a similar general pattern. The attacks were allegedly often directed at specific ethnic or religious communities and left a high number of reported victims.

The Chamber also found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a plan existed between Mr Gbagbo and his inner circle and that they were aware that implementing it would lead to the commission of the alleged crimes. Mr Gbagbo, together with others, allegedly exercised joint control over the crimes, and made a coordinated and essential contribution to the realisation of the plan.

Mr Gbagbo allegedly engaged his responsibility as “indirect co-perpetrator” (article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute) for the above-mentioned charges of crimes against humanity. However, the Chamber highlighted that this issue may well need to be revisited in due course with the parties and participants.

For more information on this case, please click here.

Background information on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire

The warrant of arrest for Laurent Koudou Gbagbo is the first warrant issued in the situation in Côte d'Ivoire.

Côte d'Ivoire is not party to the Rome Statute, but it had accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC on 18 April 2003; more recently, and on both 14 December 2010 and 3 May 2011, the Presidency of Côte d'Ivoire reconfirmed the country's acceptance of this jurisdiction.

On 3 October 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber III granted the Prosecutor's request for authorisation to open investigations on his own initiative into the situation in Côte d'Ivoire with respect to alleged crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, committed since 28 November 2010, as well as with regard to crimes that may be committed in the future in the context of this situation. The judges authorised the Prosecutor to open an investigation with regard to crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed by pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces, including murder, rape, enforced disappearance, imprisonment, pillage, torture and intentionally directing attacks against civilians.

Pre-Trial Chamber III also requested the Prosecutor to revert to the Chamber within one month with any additional information that is available to him on potentially relevant crimes committed between 2002 and 2010. The Prosecutor complied with this request on 3 November 2011. The Chamber is now considering whether or not to grant authorisation to the Prosecutor to investigate crimes committed between 2002 and 2010.

The International Criminal Court is an independent, permanent court that tries persons accused of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

Warrant of arrest for Laurent Koudou Gbagbo

Decision Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute on the Authorisation of an Investigation into the Situation in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire

Q&A on the case against Laurent Koudou Gbagbo

ICC Detention Centre