ICC Declares Former Cote d’Ivoire President Gbagbo fit for Trial


The International Criminal Court (ICC) has declared former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo physically and mentally able to stand trial for crimes against humanity next year.

The ICC appointed experts “underlined a vast improvement in Mr Gbagbo’s state of health and observes that he no longer suffers from clinical post-traumatic stress syndrome or hospitalisation syndrome”, the Hague-based court said in a statement.

Gbagbo, 70, and his former militia chief Charles Ble Goude, 43, are due in the dock on January 28, where they face charges of triggering political unrest after the former president’s refusal to concede defeat to bitter rival Alassane Ouattara in the country’s 2010 elections.

The trial had been scheduled to open on November 10 but the ICC decided to give judges more time to examine expert reports on Gbagbo’s health.

The three experts testified before the judges earlier this month.

3000 people were killed in the violence that ensued after Gbagbo’s refusal to concede defeat to Ouattara in 2010, while hundreds of thousands were displaced.

Gbagbo was eventually arrested when Ouattara’s forces, backed by the United Nations (UN) and France overran his heavily fortified residence in Abidjan in April 2011.

He was transferred to The Hague in November 2011, and is the first former head of state to be handed over to the ICC.