UPDATE 1-Ivory Coast ex-leader Gbagbo to stay in detention-ICC judges

Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:03pm GMT

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By Thomas Escritt

THE HAGUE Oct 26 (Reuters) - Appeal judges at the International Criminal Court on Friday turned down former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo's request to be allowed to leave the Netherlands pending a decision on whether he will face trial, saying he might try to abscond.

ICC prosecutors say Gbagbo committed crimes against humanity during a four-month civil war in Ivory Coast in 2010, in which about 3,000 people died and a million were displaced.

"There can be no doubt the charges he faces, including crimes against humanity, rape, murder and other forms of sexual violence, are serious and may result in a lengthy prison sentence if he is convicted," Sanji Mmasenono Monageng, the presiding judge, told the court.

Gbagbo, who denies committing the crimes, had asked the court for permission to go abroad to recover from ill-treatment he said he had received when he was in detention in Ivory Coast.

Outside the court, Gbagbo's supporters expressed their disappointment.

"I am sad," said Danielle Gohou. "I'm disgusted that they are detaining my president."

The conflict in Ivory Coast started because Gbagbo refused to stand down after losing the 2010 presidential election to rival Alassane Ouattara.   Continued...

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