Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., has slammed the yet-to-begin trial of former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, describing it as ‘another disgraceful move’.
Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo is facing four charges of crimes against humanity. The ICC has been investigating unrest after last year's disputed elections.
He is accused of being an "indirect co-perpetrator" of murder, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts. The charges were allegedly committed between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011. Mr Gbagbo, 66, was placed in detention in The Hague early on Wednesday after being flown from Ivory Coast.
Before his transfer to The Hague, Laurent Gbagbo had been under house arrest in Korhogo in the north of Ivory Coast since April when he was ousted with the help of UN and French forces who carried out air strikes.
Though human rights groups have welcomed his arrest, they have also cautioned against "victor's justice". There are fears a perception of this could stoke further tensions in Ivory Coast.
Speaking to the issue in an interview with Suhuyini Alhassan on Radio Gold, Kwesi Pratt posited that the fact that the trial will take place at The Hague, shows how easily African leaders succumb to the dictates of the international community.
“…another disgraceful move… It’s another indication that African leaders are not firm. Why can’t he be tried in Cote D’Ivoire? I don’t understand…How come it’s only Laurent Gbagbo who is being sent to the International Criminal Court. Clearly this is not justice…” he said.
Laurent Gbagbo is the first former head of state to be detained to face trial in The Hague by the ICC since its founding in 2002.
Investigations were opened into the killings, rapes and other abuses committed during the four month conflict in Ivory Coast which started when Gbagbo refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara in a presidential election last year.
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