Lawyers for ex-Ivory Coast leader say he's eager for trial on crimes against humanity charges


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DAKAR, Senegal — Lawyers for Ivory Coast's former president say their client is eager to stand trial on charges of crimes against humanity so those truly responsible for his country's crisis will be brought to justice.

Last week judges at the International Criminal Court ruled that Laurent Gbagbo should be tried for allegedly orchestrating violence carried out by his supporters after he lost Ivory Coast's 2010 election but refused to accept defeat. Prosecutors say Gbagbo is responsible for murders, rapes, persecution and inhumane acts against supporters of now-President Alassane Ouattara.

Gbagbo's lawyers said in a statement Thursday he had "everything to gain" by going on trial and that the process would instead point the finger at "those who are at the origin of the country's destruction."

If convicted, Gbagbo faces a life sentence.

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