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General News of Friday, 15 February 2019

Source: My News GH

Gbagbo Trial: ‘Stooge’ ICC Prosecutor being remote-controlled by embarrassed super-powers — Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has descended on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) following his latest decision to appeal the acquittal of former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo.

The ICC is appealing the acquittal of Laurent Gbagbo and as a result granted him bail with a ban on him not to travel back to his own country among other restrictions.

This has not gone down well with the former President who at universal peace federation world summit 2019 last Saturday, descended heavily on the ICC accusing the prosecutor in particular of being remote-controlled.

“Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo, a true patriot by every stretch was yanked out of his country and delivered to the ICC by France and its allies. After eight good years, the court finds no credible evidence against him and discharges him. Bizarrely, the ICC prosecutor who clearly is operating on the dictates of the embarrassed powers-that-be, decides to shamelessly appeal and once again curtail Gbagbo’s freedom. How can you package him to another country on some twisted bail terms that effectively makes him prisoner and prevents his freedom of international travel, including going back to his own country?” He asked.

What allegations were leveled against Mr. Gbagbo?

The violence in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest cocoa producer, came after Mr. Gbagbo refused to accept that he had lost a disputed election run-off to Mr. Ouattara in 2010.

Mr. Gbagbo was captured in 2011 in a presidential palace bunker by UN and French-backed forces supporting his rival, Alassane Ouattara.

The five months of violence that followed were described as some of the most brutal clashes the country had ever seen.

During the political stand-off there were bloody clashes and targeted killings in Abidjan in the south, and several hundreds were massacred in the western town of Duekoue.

Prosecutors accused Mr. Gbagbo of four counts of crimes against humanity, murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and “other inhuman acts”.

He denied the charges, which he said were politically motivated.

Analysts say the development is a blow to the ICC’s reputation.

“Whenever a case involving mass atrocities essentially collapses at the ICC, it does damage to the perception of the court as a credible and effective institution of international justice,” Mark Kersten, author of Justice in Conflict, told the BBC.

“Many are concerned that the court is emerging as an institution where only rebels can be successfully prosecuted,” he added.

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