Nairobi, Kenya - The International Criminal Court (ICC) has concluded the confirmation of charges hearing against former President of Cote d' Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo, charged with the killing of over 100 people, the court said on Thursday.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda appealed to the Judges to confirm the charges against the former Ivorian President saying he should be held responsible for the killing of 166 people and the rape of 34 women.
'For these brutal, revolting acts, the prosecution charges Gbagbo with crimes against humanity and we will request the Chamber to try him for these crimes,' the Prosecutor said at the start of a hearing over whether Gbagbo should be tried, according to an ICC statement.
The prosecutor faces the burden of proof, a requirement for the office to produce evidence and list of witnesses to be presented in court to determine whether the case can proceed to a full trial for the 2010/2011 post-election killings in Cote d'Ivoire.
Prosecutors allege the former Ivorian leader, who refused to accept defeat after a second round election, developed a common plan with the help of his inner circle, to intimidate rivals through arbitrary detention, killings and a policy of violence.
'What should have been a moment of national unity, the first Presidential election in Cote d'Ivoire in 10 years, descended into chaos and unspeakable violence,' the prosecutor told the court in her opening statement.
The former President engaged in a protracted power struggle with his rival, Alassane Ouattara, who was declared the winner of the elections in November 2010.
Prosecutors want Gbagbo to answer to four counts of crimes against humanity, including the killings of the 166 people,the rape of the 34 women, the forced displacement or persecution of 294 people and inflicting injuries to 94 people.
The hearing of the confirmation of charges came to an end after an eight-day hearing. The Office of the Prosecutor and the Defence were able to present their evidence to Pre-Trial Chamber I, the ICC statement said.
The prosecutor and legal representatives of victims will have until 14 March 2013 to complete their presentations by written submissions, to which the defence can reply by 28 March 2013 at the latest.
'Within 60 days from the receipt of the defence’s final submissions, the judges will decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that the suspect committed each of the crimes charged,' the ICC said.
The three judges of the Chamber, Presiding Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi, Hans-Peter Kaul and Christine Van den Wyngaert, may either confirm or reject those charges in relation to which it has determined that there is sufficient evidence.
The prosecutor may provide further evidence or conduct further investigations or, alternatively, to amend any charge for which the evidence submitted appears to establish that a crime other than the crime charged was committed.