ICC issues warrant for Ivory Coast's Gbagbo

Lawyer for ousted president says her client was shown arrest warrant by Ivorian judicial authorities.

    Gbagbo was captured in a bunker in April by pro-Ouattarra forces and placed under house arrest

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Laurent Gbagbo, the ousted Ivory Coast president, his France-based lawyer says.

    "They [Ivorian justice authorities] showed it to him this morning," Lucie Bourthumieux said by telephone.

    Bourthumieux added that she did not have any information on when any transfer to the ICC in The Hague might take place. 

    There was no immediate comment from the Ivorian government.

    Abdon Georges Bayeto, the European representative for Gbagbo, called the warrant unfair and said there would be some reaction from the former president's supporters.

    "We're very surprised that somebody [Ouattara] who won the election and [is] talking of reconciliation can go to that extent," he told Al Jazeera from London.

    "It's very sad. Remember Laurent Gbagbo got 48 per cent of the vote. That's not a small number. It's an important number and we're going to react. We think that that's unfair." 

    Earlier last month, the government set up an 11-man peace commission to investigate the country's post-election conflict that killed more than 3,000 people and drove a million others from their homes.

    Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast's president, said the commission "will have to tackle difficult questions such as the land issue in rural areas and identity questions".

    Gbagbo, who disputed the outcome of last year's election won by Ouattara, was captured in April and placed under house arrest after months of fighting between the two sides.

    It was not immediately clear whether the warrant would have any implications on the commission headed by Charles Konan Banny, a former prime minister.

    Ouattara, whose forces have also been accused of being involved in the post-election violence, took office in May, vowing to restore "unity between all the daughters, and all the sons of our dear Ivory Coast".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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