The Hague - The International Criminal Court said Thursday it will try Ivory Coast's ex-president Laurent Gbagbo for crimes against humanity allegedly committed during a bloody 2010-2011 election standoff.
The pre-trial chamber "confirmed by majority four charges of crimes against humanity against Laurent Gbagbo and committed him for trial", the court said in a statement of the much-anticipated decision.
One of three judges dissented, however, saying there was not "a realistic chance" of a conviction.
The charges include murder, rape and persecution committed during post-election violence over three years ago in the west African nation that claimed over 3 000 lives.
Gbagbo, 69, is the first former head of state brought before the ICC, where he is accused of masterminding a campaign of violence during the presidential vote standoff.
He maintains that he was evicted in favour of his rival, current President Alassane Ouattara, thanks to a plot led by former colonial ruler France.
French and UN forces backed an assault on Gbagbo's villa in Abidjan after which Ouattara's forces detained him and handed him over to the ICC.
The charges are for allegedly fomenting the wave of violence as he refused to hand over to election winner Ouattara after 10 years in power. He has denied the charges against him.