ICC Upholds Simone Gbagbo’s Trial At the Hague

The decision rejects government’s appeal to try the former first lady at home.

The International Criminal Court on Wednesday rejected Cocircte d’Ivoire appeal to try former first lady Simone Gbagbo at home, upholding a previous order to have her transferred to The Hague for prosecution, France 24 reported yesterday May 28, 2015. “The Appeals Chamber rejects the… grounds of appeal… and deems it appropriate to confirm the (trial chamber’s) decision,” Polish judge Piotr Hofmanski is quoted as saying.

The reports say the world’s only permanent independent body to try the worst crimes rejected the West African country’s request in December to put the former first lady in a local dock, reminding it of its “obligation to surrender her without delay.” Abidjan appealed that decision and proceeded with a local trial, handing the wife of former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo a 20-year sentence in March, which she has appealed. The ICC’s judges however said the Ivorian charges were vague and differed from those she faces before the Hague-based tribunal.

Her husband and former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo is expected to go on trial on November 10, together with his right-hand man Ble Goude, facing crimes against humanity charges. Gbagbo’s refusal to concede defeat after presidential polls in 2010 sparked a bloody stand-off in the world’s largest cocoa grower in which some 3,000 people died according to the United Nations. He was eventually toppled in April 2011 by current President Alassane Ouattara’s forces backed by the UN and France.

Gbagbo was transferred to the ICC’s detention unit in The Hague in November 2011 but Simone Gbagbo was thrown in jail at home. Since then, the Ivorian government has repeatedly refused to hand her over to the ICC, where she too is wanted for crimes against humanity. “The decision erases any possible doubt regarding the Ivory Coast’s obligation to transfer Simone Gbagbo to The Hague,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “It’s Abidjan who invited the ICC to act on the situation in the Ivory Coast,” Param-Preet Singh, a lawyer at HRW’s international justice programme is quoted to have said.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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