Former Ivory Coast President Gbagbo seeks help from Kenyan Lawyer at ICC


A Kenyan lawyer is likely to represent disgraced former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo who is facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.

Sources on Monday said lawyer Katwa Kigen was contacted by Mr Gbagbo’s family and lawyers last week seeking to know if he was ready to be part of the legal team for the former Ivory Coast strongman.

It is understood that the call to Mr Kigen, who already represents Eldoret MP William Ruto and Kass FM radio presenter Joshua Sang, was placed personally by Mr Gbagbo’s wife, Ms Simone.

Contacted, lawyer could neither deny nor confirm the call from Mrs Gbagbo and the legal advisers. “I have no comment for now,” he said on phone.

Waiting for final word

Reacting to questions that he had been availed with papers regarding the case and the strategy they will adopt, Mr Katwa refused to give any details.

“I do not have any authority to respond to what you are asking. The nearest I can go on all you ask is that this is a very preliminary stage in the matter,” he said.

Even as the lawyer stuck to his work, sources said that Mr Katwa has already presented his papers and proposal on how he would assist Mr Gbagbo’s legal team to shoot down the charges of crimes against humanity that have been brought against the former Ivory Coast President by ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

It is understood he is waiting for the final word from Mr Gbagbo’s lawyers after consulting their client.

Mr Gbagbo, who is at the detention centre at the ICC, was arrested and flown to The Hague on November 30 to face charges arising from the chaos that ensued following his refusal to hand over power to his rival Alassane Ouattara.

He appeared before the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber on December 5 for the initial appearance. The court has slapped charges of murder, rape, persecution and other inhumane acts.


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