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ICC confirms jurisdiction over Ivory Coast ex-president

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on Wednesday unanimously dismissed [judgment, PDF; press release] a challenge by former Ivory Coast president and alleged war criminal Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] that the court lacks jurisdiction to try him. Gbagbo is charged with crimes against humanity relating to violence following the 2010 elections in which Gbagbo lost but refused to cede power. Specifically, the ICC has charged Gbagbo [materials] with murder, rape, persecution and "other inhumane acts" related to post-election violence. Wednesday's ruling is in line with an August decision [JURIST report] by Pre-Trial Chamber I.

Last month the ICC unsealed an indictment [JURIST report] for Gbagbo's wife, Simone, marking the first time that the court has charged a female. Also in November the court found Laurent Gbagbo fit to stand trial [JURIST report]. In October, the ICC denied Gbagbo's motion asking the court for allowance to leave the Netherlands while he recovers from alleged maltreatment received while detained by national authorities in the Ivory Coast before being surrendered to the ICC [JURIST reports] in November. The court denied Gbagbo's leave request upon a determination that he posed a flight risk. The violence that followed the 2010 election claimed approximately 3,000 lives. Gbagbo's rival Alassane Ouattara [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] was declared the winner of the 2010 election and is now president.

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