Fatou Bensouda Has One Month to Justify Charges Against Gbagbo

In a decision published on February 9, 2018, the trial chamber in charge of the Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé case invited International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to produce a brief on the link between the testimonies and the charges against the two accused.

Nearly a month after hearing the last witness on her list, International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda will have to submit a brief to the judges. This was decided by the judges of Trial Chamber I.

In a nine-page order published in English on the court’s website, the judges invited the Gambian prosecutor to establish the link between the testimonies and the charges against Laurent Gbagbo and his former Youth Minister, Charles Blé Goudé.

“[T]he Chamber considers it indeed necessary to invite the Prosecutor to file a trial brief containing a detailed narrative of her case in light of the testimonies heard and the documentary evidence submitted at trial. More specifically, she should indicate to the Chamber in which way she thinks the evidence supports each of the elements of the different crimes and forms of responsibility charged,” reads the decision co-signed by the three judges of the trial chamber.

The judges also justified this decision by the desire to have a quick and fair trial. The order states:

At this stage, in accordance with its statutory powers and responsibilities and with a view to meeting its obligation to ensure the  fairness and expeditiousness of the trial, the Chamber considers it indeed necessary to invite the Prosecutor to file a trial brief containing a detailed narrative of her case in light of the testimonies heard and the documentary evidence submitted at trial. More specifically, she should indicate to the Chamber in which way she thinks the evidence supports each of the elements of the different crimes and forms of responsibility charged.

Bensouda must make this brief available to the court within a period of “30 days after notification of this order.” According to the judges, “the parties are allowed to exceed the 20-page limit” for their respective filings.

As for the two defense teams, they will be able to file their observations one month after the prosecution’s brief is transmitted to the court.

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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.

 

One Comment

  1. As far as the viewers and liteneres around the world are concerned about this case, the the two deffendants must be released without preconditions. Resons being that it was Allasand Dramane Outtarra and his Rebels Groups that waged war on cote Dìvore. Before the was held in cote dìvore Outarra has armed his rebels to get ready for war if the elections does not go his way. Why Fatou Bensouda did bring outarra and his Rebels Groups to Justce?
    Has Fatouda Bensouda been bribed for wich she refused to the other party to Justice. Be careful, whatever a person does lives after him. Mr.Lauernt Gbagbo and Mr. Charles Ble Goude are innocent and let them be freed men.

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