Conflict & Justice

Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo seeks ICC trial delay


Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo and his wife Simone sit on a bed after arriving at the Hotel du Golf in Abidjan after their arrest on April 11, 2011. Ivory Coast leader Alassane Ouattara's forces, backed by French and UN troops, captured Gbagbo in Abidjan at the climax of a deadly five-month crisis. Gbagbo, who has held power since 2000 and stubbornly refused to admit defeat in November's presidential election, was detained and taken to his rival's temporary hotel headquarters, with his wife Simone and son Michel.



Lawyers for the former Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, have asked the International Criminal Court to delay a hearing on whether he can stand trial – arguing the prosecution has better resources, Agence France Presse reported.

Gbagbo, 67, is accused of crimes against humanity in the violence that followed the presidential elections in 2010, when he refused to stand down – and an estimated 3,000 were killed.

More from GlobalPost: Laurent Gbagbo: Ivory Coast's former president in custody in The Hague

He is due to appear before the tribunal in The Hague later this month to confirm the charges, AFP reported.

Lawyers for Gbagbo's argue that the resources available to prosecutors are “grossly disproportionate” to those of the defense.

In a brief filed to the court, Gbagbo’s defense team also said the former president, who is now in custody The Hague, was unwell after being treated inhumanely during his time in detention in the Ivory Coast, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile rights activists say more than a year after the post election violence ended, the west African nation is still suffering instability.

In a new report, Human Rights Watch said that villages near the country’s border with Liberian were being raided by supporters of Gbagbo, who had fled to Liberia.

More from GlobalPost: When the BRICs crumble

One of the authors of the report, Matt Wells, told Radio France Internationale that Ivorians and Liberians mercenaries, based in Liberia, were recruiting child soldiers to help continue their fight.