Laurent Gbagbo war crimes hearing postponed


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.



Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo's hearing in the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been postponed until August 13.

Gbagbo, 67, who faces charges of crimes against humanity, was to appear at The Hague on Monday, but the court said it would reschedule the hearing to August 13, according to CNN. The delay was requested by Gbagbo's lawyers in order for them to have time to prepare a more effective defense, as the hearing is to allow judges to hear from both sides in order to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

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ICC prosecutors have accused Gbagbo of crimes against humanity during a five-month civil war, reported Reuters. The fighting in the Ivory Coast came after Gbagbo refused to step down after losing a 2010 presidential election to current President Alassane Ouattara. About 3,000 people died during the five months and a million were displaced. 

Gbagbo was arrested in April 2011 in his heavily fortified home by Ouattara loyalists, with UN and French military backing, according to Agence France-Presse. Since Ouattara became president last year, Ivorian authorities have filed several international warrants against former regime members living in other countries in the region, including Togo and Ghana.

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