October 1, 2018 / 11:54 AM / a year ago

Hague court hears Ivory Coast ex-president Gbagbo's plea for dismissal

Supporters of former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo watch his trial on a screen in Gagnoa in western Ivory Coast, January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Thierry Gouegnon

THE HAGUE (Reuters) - Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday heard a plea from former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo to have his case for alleged crimes against humanity dismissed early due to lack of evidence.

Gbagbo’s lawyers argued in a written submission that he need present no defense, as prosecutors had failed to provide enough evidence as they put their case against him to support a conviction.

But prosecutors said Gbagbo, who is accused of four counts of crimes against humanity and is being held in the court’s detention center, does have a case to answer.

“There is evidence … upon which a trial chamber could reasonably convict the accused of the charges against them,” deputy prosecutor James Steward said.

The former Ivorian president is on trial for crimes including murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts allegedly committed after 2010 elections when Gbagbo and his supporters refused to accept his electoral defeat by rival Alassane Ouattara.

The hearings on a possible early acquittal run through Friday, with Gbagbo’s side yet to present oral arguments.

No date has been set for a ruling. 

Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg, editing by Ed Osmond

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