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ICC Trial: Gbagbo pleads not guilty to war crime charges

ICC Trial: Gbagbo pleads not guilty to war crime charges

Netherlands

Former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo has pleaded not guilty to charges of crimes against humanity as his trial began at The Hague.

Leader of the Young Patriots, Charles Blé Goudé who is Mr. Gbagbo’s co-accused also pleaded not guilty to the same charges.

The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensoud, said she has enough evidence against the former Ivorian president.

Gbabgo and Blé Goudé appeared before the International Criminal Court together on Thursday.

ICC Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda accused both men of four counts of crimes against humanity.

The trial could last up to four years.

Both men are standing trial for their alleged roles in the post-electoral violence of 2011 in Côte d’Ivoire which led to the death of nearly 3000 people.

Mr Gbagbo, 70, at the start of his trial appeared relaxed, smiling and shaking hands with his defence team.

One of his advisers, Abdon Bayeto, had earlier told the BBC that Mr Gbagbo’s innocence was not in doubt.

He said: “There’s been a parody of justice here. Somebody who has been in prison for five years with no proof.”

Hundreds of Gbagbo supporters also gathered outside the court at The Hague on Thursday to protest.

They accuse the ICC of overlooking alleged crimes by Gbagbo’s opponents, many of whom are now in power.

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