Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo in relation to Cote d'Ivoire
“It is exactly a year since the presidential election that led to one of the worst episodes of violence Cote d'Ivoire has ever known, with ordinary Ivorians suffering immensely, and crimes allegedly committed by both parties.
We have evidence that the violence did not happen by chance: widespread and systematic attacks against civilians perceived as supporting the other candidate were the result of a deliberate policy. In December last year, we put Mr. Gbagbo and the others on notice. Today, we are following up.
Mr. Gbagbo is brought to account for his individual responsibility in the attacks against civilians committed by forces acting on his behalf. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty and will be given full rights and the opportunity to defend himself.
Let me make it clear: investigations continue. We will collect evidence impartially and independently, and bring further cases before the Judges, irrespective of political affiliation.
Leaders must understand that violence is no longer an option to retain or gain power.
The time of impunity for these crimes is over.”