All those accused will face ICC Ivory : Coast PM
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Last Updated: Friday, December 16, 2011, 10:20
United Nations: Ivory Coast Prime Minister Guillaume Soro has vowed that the government would hand over anyone charged by the International Criminal Court for political killings but would not discuss his own case.

Former president Laurent Gbagbo is already in ICC custody and Soro, who gave a keynote speech on Thursday to the court's member states, was a head of a militia group which has been accused of involvement in killings during the West African nation's turmoil a year ago.

Soro, who spoke of the importance of "reconciliation" in his speech on Thursday, was asked after whether he feared being charged.

"It is not for me to anticipate nor to get mixed up in justice," the prime minister told reporters.

He stressed that the Ivory Coast government had asked the ICC to investigate "grave crimes" during the conflict between followers of Gbagbo and President Alassane Ouattara, Soro's ally.

"I just want justice to be carried out," Soro said. "Any person charged, no matter what side -- we have made the engagement to carry out their transfer."

Soro and ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo met on the sidelines of the court's annual meeting at the UN headquarters on Wednesday.

"I told him that we will conduct an impartial investigation," Moreno-Ocampo said.

"I never discuss the people who will be indicted but I was very clear and he said for him it was 'very correct' there was no problem."

The prosecutor said he had also discussed the ICC investigation with Soro in Abidjan: "He said: 'You can investigate me, I have no problem'."

Soro was head of the Forces Nouvelles militia force which fought against Gbagbo when he was president. Many Gbagbo followers were victims of mass killings in the unrest that erupted after the disputed election in Ivory Coast last year.

Gbagbo is now in custody in The Hague facing four counts of crimes against humanity including murder, rape and inhuman acts.


First Published: Friday, December 16, 2011, 10:20

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