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ICC agrees to postpone hearing for Ivory Coast ex-president

The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] announced Tuesday that it will postpone the confirmation of charges hearing [press release] for former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo [ICC case profile; JURIST news archive] after his defense team requested more time. No new hearing date was set. Last week Gbagbo's lawyers asked the ICC [JURIST report] to postpone the hearing so that they could have more time to prepare. Gbagbo's lawyer's complained that they did not have enough resources to build their case in the amount of time given. In a press release, the ICC said they granted the postponement "to preserve the rights of the Defence in fair proceedings." The new hearing will be scheduled at a future date.

Gbagbo's hearing date was set [JURIST report] in December during his pre-trial hearing in the Pre-Trial Chamber III of the ICC. During the hearing the court verified Gbagbo's identity and ensured that he was informed of the four charges against him, including murder, persecution, inhumane acts, and rape and other forms of sexual violence allegedly committed during last year's post-election violence [JURIST news archive] in the Ivory Coast. A month earlier, he was taken into custody [JURIST report] by the ICC after national authorities of the Ivory Coast surrendered him to the international court.

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