The Hague — Today, 22 November 2012, Pre-Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) decided to unseal the warrant of arrest issued against Simone Gbagbo for four charges of crimes against humanity.
According to the warrant of arrest, initially issued under seal on 29 February 2012, Mrs Gbagbo is allegedly responsible, within the meaning of article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute for the crimes against humanity of murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, other inhumane acts and persecution allegedly committed in the territory of Côte d'Ivoire during the period between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011.
Côte d'Ivoire, which is not party to the Rome Statute – the Court's founding treaty, had accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC on 18 April 2003. On 14 December 2010 and 3 May 2011, the Presidency of Côte d'Ivoire reconfirmed the country's acceptance of this jurisdiction.
On 3 October 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber III granted the Prosecutor's request for authorisation to open investigations proprio motu into the situation in Côte d'Ivoire with respect to alleged crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, committed since 28 November 2010, as well as with regard to crimes that may be committed in the future in the context of this situation.
On 22 February 2012, Pre-Trial Chamber III decided to expand its authorisation for the investigation in Côte d'Ivoire to include crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed between 19 September 2002 and 28 November 2010.
The ICC is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.