All those accused will face ICC Ivory : Coast PM

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.

PTI



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

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