After the testimony of Eric Bacardi, a forensic expert at the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor on October 11,2017, the Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber I made an unexpected announcement: the suspension of the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé trial in The Hague.
The ICC hearings had already scheduled a suspension on October 20, 2017. The surprise postponement of the Gbagbo and Blé Goudé trial until Monday, November 6, comes amid a series of embarrassing revelations for the International Criminal Court.
“We cannot conduct three trials at the same time, we do not have enough money to conduct three trials simultaneously, this is one of the reasons for this date shift,” explained Judge Cuno Tarfusser.
When the trial resumed after the summer recess on August 28, of this year Judge Tarfusser had unequivocally expressed his willingness to move quickly in this trial. He was likely referring requirements in the Rome Statute, the founding text of the ICC, that every accused before the court to be tried within a reasonable time.
ICC trials regularly schedule breaks and can be suspended for a variety of reasons. However, this is the first time a trial has been suspended at the ICC for financial reasons.
Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé are charged with four counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, and other inhumane acts, or – in the alternative – attempted murder and persecution. The accused allegedly committed these crimes during post-electoral violence in Côte d’Ivoire between December 16, 2010 and April 12, 2011.
This summary comes from Ivoire Justice, which offers monitoring and commentary on the ICC’s proceedings arising from the post-election violence that occurred in Cote d’Ivoire in 2010-2011. It has been translated into English for use on International Justice Monitor.