Business, Finance & Economics

Ivory Coast: Gbagbo spirited to The Hague


'Who me? Steal millions?' The deposed Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo strikes an innocent pose. He has had part of his personal fortune - worth more than $80 million - frozen by Swiss authorities.


Sia Kambou

NAIROBI, Kenya — The former president of Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo, whose refusal to accept defeat in elections last year led to civil war has been whisked from a villa in the north of the country where he was living under armed guard to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir was the first head of state to be indicted by the court (for war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2009, and with the charge of genocide added for good measure in 2010) but Gbagbo is the first former head of state to be actually detained.

Gbagbo arrived at The Hague on Wednesday morning and is accused by the ICC prosecutor of “four counts of crimes against humanity, namely murder, rape and
other forms of sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts” allegedly committed between December last year and April.

It’s something of a coup for Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampa whose credibility has been thrown into doubt by his failure to bring some of his most high profile indictees to court, namely Sudan's Bashir, LRA leader Joseph Kony and Libya's Saif al-Islam.