22 November 2012

Cote d'Ivoire: Statement by ICC Prosecutor Following Unsealing of Arrest Warrant Against Mrs. Simone Gbagbo

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Photo: Simone Gbagbo Website
Simone Ehivet Gbagbo, the former First Lady of Cote d' Ivoire (file photo).

The Hague — Statement by ICC Prosecutor following unsealing of Arrest Warrant against Mrs. Simone Gbagbo: The judges have decided, it is now up to the Ivoirian authorities to surrender Mrs. Simone Gbagbo to the Court:

Today, ICC judges decided to unseal their Arrest Warrant against Mrs. Simone Gbagbo for her alleged individual responsibility for crimes against humanity during Côte d’Ivoire’s post-election crisis in 2010 - 2011.

Since the opening of investigations, Côte d’Ivoire has been cooperating fully with the OTP in its investigations. We expect the Ivoirian authorities to continue cooperating and to surrender Simone Gbagbo to the Court.

As the Office stated in its application to open an investigation in Côte d’Ivoire, the type of crimes committed in the aftermath of the 2010 elections did not happen by chance - they were planned and coordinated at the highest political and military levels and all those bearing the greatest responsibility must be held to account.

The Office of the Prosecutor is continuing its investigations of all crimes allegedly committed by all sides, focussing on those who bear the greatest responsibility for these crimes.

The investigations are objective, impartial and independent, and are conducted in strict accordance with the law. Additional requests for Arrest Warrants will be submitted to the judges once we have collected enough evidence to substantiate the allegations. It will be for the judges to decide.

The Office’s investigations are part of a broader effort to promote justice and reconciliation in Côte d’Ivoire to prevent future violence and commission of crimes. Leaders must understand that the Rome Statute has established legal limits to protect victims and prevent massive crimes.

Those who use violence to gain or maintain power should take note: they will be held accountable for their actions.

DISCLAIMER: Nothing in the above should be interpreted as pronouncing upon the guilt of any suspect or accused mentioned herein. The function of the Office of the Prosecutor is to investigate and prosecute alleged crimes. It is the function of the Court to confirm whether the evidence presented by the Prosecution is sufficient to confirm the charges brought and, if so, to determine the guilt or innocence of the accused following a fair trial.

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