Lawyers for former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] requested on Thursday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] postpone the confirmation of charges hearing which is scheduled for June 18. The lawyers argued that if the hearing in their client's case [case materials] takes places as planned, Gbagbo will not receive a fair trial. They claimed that Gbagbo's limited financial resources compared to the resources of the prosecution have affected his ability to build his case. Additionally, Gbagbo argued that his team faced hostility throughout the investigation in the Ivory Coast [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], creating additional unbalance between the two sides.
Gbagbo's hearing date was set [JURIST report] in December during his pre-trial hearing [ICC press release] in the Pre-Trial Chamber III of the ICC. During the hearing the court verified Gbagbo's identity and ensured that he was informed of the four charges against him, including murder, persecution, inhumane acts, and rape and other forms of sexual violence allegedly committed during last year's post-election violence [JURIST news archive] in the Ivory Coast. A month earlier, he was taken into custody [JURIST report] by the ICC after national authorities of the Ivory Coast surrendered him to the international court.