Feature

The week at a glance...Europe

Europe

The Hague, Netherlands
First leader tried: Ivory Coast’s former President Laurent Gbagbo was arrested this week and sent to The Hague, becoming the first former head of state to be tried by the International Criminal Court since its inception in 2002. Gbagbo is charged with crimes against humanity stemming from last year’s civil war. About 3,000 people were killed and more than a million displaced after Gbagbo lost an election to Alassane Ouattara but refused to cede power. Prosecutors said other high-ranking officials from both sides of the conflict were also likely to be arrested and charged. Gbagbo’s supporters say his arrest is the result of international bias toward Ouattara, a former IMF official with diplomatic connections.

Oslo
Killer declared insane: Anders Behring Breivik, who confessed to killing 77 people in a rampage in Norway in July, was declared insane this week. A mental evaluation by two forensic psychiatrists found that Breivik inhabits a “delusional universe” and was psychotic when he dressed as a police officer and stalked through a youth camp for a left-wing party, methodically gunning down dozens of teenagers. If the report is adopted by a medical board, as expected, Breivik will be kept in a secure psychiatric ward, probably for life. “For us, no punishment will ever be enough,” said Jarl Robert Christensen, who lost his daughter Birgitta in the attack. Norway does not have a death penalty or life imprisonment. The maximum prison term is 21 years.

Paris
Was DSK set up? France is abuzz over an article reviving the conspiracy theory that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the ex-head of the International Monetary Fund who was arrested in May for allegedly raping a New York City hotel maid, was set up. The New York Review of Books article outlines a series of mysteries about what the maid was doing in another hotel room before and after the alleged attack; why the Accor hotel group’s security chief, who has ties to a top aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy, called someone in Paris before reporting the alleged attack to the police; and why two hotel employees high-fived after the report. Sarkozy’s party called the story “ridiculous” and the plot theory “grotesque.” Strauss-Kahn had been favored to beat Sarkozy in next year’s presidential race, but his political career now appears to be over.

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