Gbagbo and Blé Goudé Trial: Here’s What Blocks the Work of Gbagbo’s Defense

In a petition addressed to the judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo’s defense referred to difficulties that hinder the proper pursuit of proceedings.

The defense of the former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo would like to have “as soon as possible, a corrected and definitive French version of the Mid-Trial Brief from the prosecution.” In a request dated May 25, 2018, Gbagbo’s lead lawyer Emmanuel Altit wished to see the Registry of the ICC grant his request.

In his document written in French and available on the court’s website Altit justified this request by the will of the defense to have a document “with no inaccuracies.”

“It is all the more important for the Defense to be able to work on a definitive, error-free version, since one can see here from the very first pages of the MTB [Mid-Trial Brief] translation, errors, omissions and inaccuracies that can have very significant consequences as part of the Prosecution’s case may disappear or a legal concept may be transformed,” the French lawyer explained.

“As things stand now,” he said, “neither the defendant nor his defense has a usable and completely reliable French version of the MTB. In other words, they cannot use it as a basis for work, nor rely on it to precisely know the details of the charges.”

“Both the Accused and the Defense are facing a decision that is detrimental to them,” added Altit. On March 19, 2018, Fatou Bensouda filed before the judges the Mid-Trial Brief in which the prosecutor sought to provide a detailed narrative of the prosecution’s case to-date in light of the evidence submitted at trial.

The defense must make its observations in response to this document, which brings together all charges and evidence.


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 Observateur Citoyen, 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.