ICC unveils arrest warrant for Ivory Coast politician Ble Goude

AMSTERDAM Tue Oct 1, 2013 7:22am EDT

Charles Ble Goude, minister of youth and employment in Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo's government, speaks during a rally with youths in Yopougon, Abidjan December 29, 2010. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

Charles Ble Goude, minister of youth and employment in Ivory Coast's incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo's government, speaks during a rally with youths in Yopougon, Abidjan December 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/ Thierry Gouegnon

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Judges at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday unsealed a warrant for the arrest of Charles Ble Goude who is accused of working with former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to orchestrate a wave of post-election violence.

He is the third person, after Gbagbo and Gbagbo's wife Simone, to be indicted by the court for events relating to the post-election civil war in 2010 and 2011, in which more than 3,000 people died.

Ble Goude, 40, headed the youth wing of Gbagbo's political movement and is charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder and rape, committed in Ivory Coast between December 2010 and April 2011.

Gbagbo, who is accused of plunging his country into civil war rather than relinquishing his grip on power after losing the presidential election in 2010, has been in the ICC's custody since November 2011 when he was handed over by his political opponent and successor Alassane Ouattara.

Ouattara has since become less keen on cooperating with the international court and has delayed handing over Simone Gbagbo, who faces similar charges. Earlier this month, the Ivorian government said it would try her in a domestic court, which could pre-empt any trial by the ICC.

The court, which is conducting cases against Kenya's president and deputy president, is under fire from many African governments, accused of focusing unduly on crimes committed in that continent.

(Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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