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International Criminal Court

Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo pleads not guilty to atrocities

Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo pleads not guilty to atrocities

Former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo unleashed a wave of deadly violence targeting political opponents in a doomed attempt to cling to power after losing a 2010 election runoff, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said Thursday as the court's landmark first trial of a former head of state got underway.

“Nothing would be allowed to defeat Mr. Gbagbo,” Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told a panel of three judges. “If politics failed, violence was seen as politics by other means.”

Human rights activists welcomed the trial as a signal that leaders who resort to violence to strengthen their grip on power would be held to...

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