ICC prosecutor seeks to open I.Coast probe

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The International Criminal Court's prosecutor asked judges Thursday for permission to probe alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity after Ivory Coast's disputed election, his office said.

"The prosecutor has requested ICC judges for authorisation to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Cote d'Ivoire since November 28," Moreno-Ocampo's office said at the ICC's Hague-based headquarters.

Newly-inaugurated Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara asked Moreno-Ocampo in a letter on May 3 to investigate "the most serious crimes", after a six-month wave of violence swept the restive west African state.

Moreno-Ocampo announced his intention in early April to ask ICC judges to authorise an investigation into "massacres committed in systematic or general fashion" in the Ivory Coast.

Some 3,000 people were killed and more than 300,000 others were displaced, according to UN estimates, when former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept that he had lost a run-off poll on November 28 last year.

© 2011 AFP

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