ICC prosecutor to extend I.Coast war crimes probe

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The International Criminal Court on Thursday authorised its prosecutor to extend a probe into war crimes committed in the Ivory Coast reaching back to 2002, judges said in a document.

"The Chamber expands its authorisation for the investigation in Cote d'lvoire to include crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed between 19 September 2002 and 28 November 2010," it said.

The probe, which will also look at crimes against humanity, will stretch back to when rebels mounted a failed coup d'etat against then-president Laurent Gbagbo, resulting in widespread reprisals, the Hague-based court said.

"The Chamber concludes that there is reasonable basis to believe that, in the course of these events, acts of murder and rape that could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity were committed," it said.

The prosecutor was given the green light on October 3 last year to probe crimes committed in the west African country after disputed November 28, 2010 polls led to the death of an estimated 3,000 people.

Gbagbo, 66, who refused to step down after the polls in favour of Alassane Ouattara, was finally arrested in April last year in Abidjan.

He was subsequently transferred to the court in The Hague on November 30 to face four counts of crime against humanity.


© 2012 AFP

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